The Falcons’ rookie minicamp confirmed the notion that the offensive and defensive lines will be on the spot in 2013.
Free-agent signee Osi Umenyiora has to replace John Abraham’s pass rush and somebody from the group of Kroy Biermann, Cliff Matthews, Jonathan Massaquoi, Malliciah Goodman or Stansly Maponga has to step forward at left end.
The offensive line has to replace three starters at center, right guard and right tackle. Peter Konz will move to center. Philipkeith Manley could take the right guard spot, but there were some whispers that he reported to the offseason program close to 380 pounds. So it looks as if a rematch of the Garrett Reynolds-Mike Johnson battle from the past two offseasons will occur. Lamar Holmes seems ticketed for right tackle.
Reynolds won the battle at right guard in 2011 and 2012, but could not hold the position. In 2011, he lost it because of his play and last season because of injury.
Here are some other things we learned at rookie minicamp:
1. Linebacker Brian Banks certainly looks the part in shorts, jersey and a helmet. He appeared to be in the right place and flowed to the ball well. In the seven-on-seven drills, he shoved tight end Levine Toilolo to the ground with the flick of his wrists. Powerful. He re-routed a running back who was running through his zone with force.
2. The cornerbacks look like keepers. First-round pick Desmond Trufant and second-round pick Robert Alford buzzed around the field with ease. You could see their speed and agility in the special-teams stack drill. They’d run and then re-route around the dummy as if they were running to cover a punt. “It was nice to see Desmond out there,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “The competition was fun. The guys were getting out there working against each other. Desmond has a very good skill set. He’s going to get thrown a whole bunch of things at him over the next month, month and a half.”
3. Toilolo can catch. He was advertised as a 6-foot-8 blocking tight end. He flashed some nice hands at the minicamp. He could develop into a red-zone weapon.
4. Goodman can come off the edge. He ripped it during one pass rush and look as if he knows how to get to the quarterback.
5. Super-sized offensive lineman. The offensive tackles and guards were huge. Valdosta State’s Ryan Schraeder (6-7, 300), McNeese State’s Alec Savoie (6-7, 322), Alabama State’s Terren Jones (6-7, 341), Central Florida’s Theo Goins (6-4, 317), Middlebury’s Ryan Moores (6-5, 308) and Eastern Washington’s Will Post (6-5, 308) were on hand. Moores and Post were on tryouts.