On the final day of the NFL draft, the Falcons made two more trades and addressed some key areas of need with five picks Saturday.
“We had a real plan going into this draft, and we felt very, very good with how things played out for us,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said.
For the eighth consecutive year, the Falcons did not select a player from the University of Georgia.
The Falcons sent their sixth-round pick (186th overall) to the Lions to move up six spots from 117 to 111 in the fourth to get the speedy Sheffield. The Falcons moved up two spots in the fourth round to select Charleston (W.Va.) defensive end John Cominsky with the 135th overall pick Saturday. The Falcons gave up their seventh-round pick (230) to the Oakland Raiders in the deal.
In the sixth round, the Falcons selected Louisiana-Monroe running back/returner Marcus Green (203 overall).
“It feels great to add to the team and to strengthen what I would consider a number of spots, lines of scrimmage, speed, versatility, so to add to an already strong group, the competition will be really strong at a number of spots, and as a coach, that's exactly what you'd hope for,” coach Dan Quinn said.
Cominsky, who played at a Division II school, was the most interesting pick of the group. He was a quarterback in high school before he was converted to a defensive lineman.
“I always played those skill positions growing up, Pop Warner football, middle school, high school, I’ve always been in those skill positions,” Cominsky said. “So when I got to college, they threw me on the defensive line. It was my only scholarship opportunity, so I was willing to do whatever.”
It was a rugged transition for Cominsky.
“I redshirted that first year, and I spent a lot of time on the practice squad getting thrown on my head,” Cominsky said. “The freshman year I ended up starting. I just made the decision that I had to put some weight on and learn some defensive line skills.”
To put on some weight, Cominsky went with a steady diet of cheap $5 pepperoni pizza from a popular chain.
“Money was kind of tight during college, so it was Little Caesar’s,” Cominsky said. “A pepperoni pizza is about 2,000 calories for five bucks, so it was about the cheapest way to put on the weight.”
The Falcons believe that Cominsky can add more weight and play some at tackle.
Sheffield, is 5-foot-11 and 193 pounds and has a 5.56 grade from NFL.com, which projects that he has a chance to become a starter in the NFL.
He started his career at Alabama and went to junior college before he transferred to Ohio State.
Sheffield was the 12th-rated cornerback in the draft by NFL Draft Bible.
Sheffield is recovering from a pectoral injury that he sustained on the bench press March 3. He said that he’ll be recovered for the season.
“My (pectoral muscle) is really good,” Sheffield said. “I’m getting some rehab down there in Houston right now. But I also bring a good, long, physical corner.”
Sheffield played the 2017 season with former Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward, who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 draft. He also played with Marshon Lattimore.
“It was great being around them,” Sheffield said. “Coming into Ohio State, the traditions and to live up to the traditions, I was happy.”
Sheffield was vague when asked about why he left Alabama. He said he just wanted to re-open his recruiting.
The Falcons are thin at cornerback after releasing former starting right cornerback Robert Alford and electing not to re-sign nickel back Brian Poole. The Falcons also did not re-sign cornerback Justin Bethel.
Sheffield is from Missouri City, Texas.
Ollison is a bigger running back, who ran with authority for the Panthers.
Miller had a injury-riddled career for the Huskies.
Green, who was an all-purpose back in college, will play running back and return kicks.