The countdown can start for the NFL draft, which is set for April 25-27 in Nashville.
Here are five things to know about the Falcons, who are attending the NFL’s annual spring meeting in Phoenix this week:
1. Who’s the left guard? Who’s the right guard? Falcons coach Dan Quinn is set to speak to the media at 11:15 a.m. this morning at the coaches’ breakfast. All 32 NFL coaches are scheduled to speak for an hour. Perhaps he’ll reveal his plan for the new starting guards Jamon Brown and James Carpenter. He wouldn’t answer the team’s website when they asked who was playing left guard and who was playing right guard. Also, offensive line coach Chris Morgan wouldn’t say when asked at Georgia’s Pro Day. “We have a plan,” Morgan said.
2. Cornerback watch. The Falcons, after parting ways with cornerbacks Robert Alford, Brian Poole and Justin Bethel, have to re-stock the position.
Vanderbilt cornerback Joejuan Williams, who ran a 4.55 at his pro day, has worked out of the Falcons. He’s a big cornerback at 6-foot-4 and 211 pounds and received a second-round grade from the NFL draft advisory committee.
3. Short arms. Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams is being projected as an NFL guard because of his short arms (33 5/8 inches). Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he heard the same thing about former Falcons tackle Sam Baker, who had 32 3/8 inch arms, back in 2008. “It’s how you play with them (short arms),” Dimitroff said.
4. Review Dimitroff’s draft record. Through 11 NFL drafts under Dimitroff, the Falcons have selected 79 players.
Nine of those selections — Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Vic Beasley, Desmond Trufant, Thomas DeCoud, William Moore, Deion Jones and Keanu Neal — have made a Pro Bowl. Click here to review his draft record and look at the draft-day trades.
5. Working depth chart: Here’s what the depth chart looks like after the free agency signings.
Heading into the draft the roster is stacked at running back and a little light at cornerback and defensive end.
WR 11 Julio Jones, 14, Justin Hardy, 83 Russell Gage, 16 Christian Blake
LT 70 Jake Matthews, 77 Matt Gono
LG James Carpenter, 71 Wes Schweitzer
C 51 Alex Mack, 71 Wes Schweitzer
RG 68 Jamon Brown, 65 Brandon Fusco, 64 Sean Harlow
RT 74 Ty Sambrailo, 77 Matt Gono
TE 81 Austin Hooper, 88 Luke Stocker, 82 Logan Paulsen, 85 Eric Saubert, 87 Jaeden Graham, 89 Alex Gray
WR 12 Mohamed Sanu, 18 Calvin Ridley, 7 Devin Gray
QB 2 Matt Ryan, 8 Matt Schaub, 6 Kurt Benkert
RB 24 Devonta Freeman, 25 Ito Smith, 32 Brian Hill, 38 Kenjon Barner, 43 Jeremy Langford
FB 30 Ricky Ortiz
DE 44 Vic Beasley Jr., 56 Steven Means
DT 94 Deadrin Senat, 93 Michael Bennett, 79 Jacob Tuioti-Mariner
DT 97 Grady Jarrett, 95 Jack Crawford, 92 Justin Zimmer
DE 98 Takk McKinley
WLB 54 Foyesade Olukon, 42 Duke Riley
LB 45 Deion Jones, 55 Bruce Carter
LB 59 De’Vondre Campbell, 53 Jermaine Grace
CB 20 Isaiah Oliver, 33 Blidi Wreh-Wilson
NCB 27 Damontae Kazee,
CB 21 Desmond Trufant, 38 Taveze Calhoun
FS 37 Ricardo Allen, 41 Sharrod Neasman
SS 22 Keanu Neal, 40 Ryan Neal
K 4 Giorgio Tavecchio
KO 5 Matt Bosher
P 5 Matt Bosher
KR 38 Kenjon Barner, 14 Calvin Ridley
PR 14 Justin Hardy, 38 Kenjon Barner
LS 47 Josh Harris
H 5 Matt Bosher
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