3/18/07 Team Report
D. Orlando Ledbetter
For Sporting News
NOT PRIME TIME: The last time the Falcons had a player named Sanders in their secondary, he was pretty good. But don't expect free agent signee Lewis Sanders to remind folks of Deion "Prime Time" Sanders. But because of the lack of quality cornerbacks behind DeAngelo Hall, Sanders, a special teams maven, will get the opportunity to start at right cornerback. He his started 19 of 73 games over his seven-year career with Cleveland and Houston. He started seven games last season before ending the season on injured reserve with a broken wrist. Sanders combines size, speed and athleticism. He is more comfortable playing press coverage. He can be beaten on deep routes but is solid in run support. If he doesn't beat out Jason Webster, Jimmy Williams or Allen Rossum, he'll likely end up in the nickel package playing slot receivers.
Free agent signee Toniu Fonoti, a massive journeyman offensive linemen, fits the mold of massive offensive linemen the Falcons want under first-year coach Bobby Petrino. However, Fonoti's career has been marred by injury and drastic weight fluctuations. Fonoti is listed at 6-4, 350 but has been near 400 pounds at times during his career. He is a candidate to compete for the starting left guard spot, which became open when the Falcons released Matt Lehr. Fonoti showed promise early in his career as a rugged run blocker. He has had problems playing in space and in pass protection. Don't expect him to pull.
With DE Patrick Kerney gone (Seattle), the Falcons are looking long and hard at the defensive ends. Florida's Jarvis Moss is the type of edge rusher who would fit in the 4-3 scheme that Mike Zimmer will run. Moss destroyed Ohio State's tackles in the championship game. The question on Moss is his strength. He lifted the 225 pounds only 16 times at the NFL Scouting Combine. Georgia defensive end Charles Johnson might be a better selection. He's not as fast as Moss, but he has much better strength. He lifted the 225 pounds 33 times. He was the strongest player in the Georgia program last season. He excelled on a line with Quentin Moss, another DE prospect, who will be available in the third or fourth round after flashing first round ability as a junior. Also, because of the Louisville connection with Petrino, Amobi Okoye will be on the Falcons board.
Sporting News Mock:
8) LaRon Landry