Draft Overview: (Far left is number of picks, middle is the Round they were chosen, far right represents the overall pick)
- 1 Trufant, Desmond DB Washington 22
- 2 Alford, Robert DB Southeastern Louisiana 60
- 4 Goodman, Malliciah DE Clemson 127
- 4 Toilolo, Levine TE Stanford 133
- 5 Maponga, Stansly DE Texas Christian 153
- 7 Ishmael, Kemal DB Central Florida 243
- 7 Motta, Zeke DB Notre Dame 244
- 7 Renfree, Sean QB Duke 249
With a total of 8 picks in this year’s draft, let’s highlight a few key players chosen by the Atlanta Falcons. As you can see they definitely looked to beef-up their defense with a whopping 6 picks being defensive (4 Defensive Backs and 2 Defensive Ends).
1st Round 22nd Pick Defensive Back
University of Washington Huskies
Trufant earned All-Pac 12 Conference honorable mention as a junior, shifting to the boundary cornerback slot for 13 starting assignments. He served as game captain and was the recipient of the Don James Perseverance Award as he tied for third on the squad with a career-high 64 tackles. He led the team and tied for 21st in the nation with 16 passes defended, breaking up 14 throws while picking off two others. His 14 deflections were one shy of the school season-record of 15, established by Ray Horton in 1981. His total of 29 passes defended through three seasons also surpassed the Husky all-time record of 26 by Omare Lowe (1998-2001).
2nd Round 60th Pick Defensive Back
Southeastern Louisiana University Lions
After completing a productive collegiate career, Alford became the first player from Southeastern Louisiana University to play in the Senior Bowl in over 40 years. Through perseverance, Alford carved out what seems to be a future in various defensive schemes in the National Football League. Alford started 31-of-32 games at Southeastern Louisiana, recording 137 tackles (110 solos) with six stops behind the line of scrimmage, recovered three fumbles and forced another. He had 20 pass deflections and gained 82 yards with a touchdown on 10 interceptions…Fielded nine punts for 104 yards in returns, including a touchdown and gained 61 yards on four kickoff returns…Carried twice for six yards and caught four passes for 52 yards
4th Round 127th Pick Defensive End
Clemson University Tigers
When Goodman arrived on campus in 2009, he was heralded as one of the nation’s top defensive end prospects. He was rated as the nation’s 36th best overall prospect by Rivals.com, the 10th-best defensive end in America by ESPN.com and the 11th best defensive end in the prep ranks Scout.com. Prior to enrolling at Clemson University, Goodman was a standout defensive end at Florence High School. A Parade and
EA Sports All-American selection, he was regarded as the best player in the state of South Carolina, according to Rivals.com, as that recruiting service also rated him the fifth-best defensive end in the country. A finalist for “Mr. Football” honors, he added All-Conference and All-State accolades as a senior.
5th Round 153rd Pick Defensive End
Texas Christian University
He was red-shirted his first year on campus but in 2010, he made an impact as soon as he saw the field. Maponga started 12 games and tallied 32 tackles (three for loss), 2.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. He was named second-team All-Mountain West. In 2012, Maponga missed two games to injury, but was still named first-team All-Big 12. He registered 26 tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles. With immeasurable upside the Falcons 5th Round D-End duo can only help the Falcons’ defensive line.
It will be interesting to see where the Falcons will rank in Defense this year since this years’ draft was obviously geared towards it. Defense wins games and from the looks of things they’re in it to win it. A solid round-up of youthful defensive players on top of recent acquisition Steven Jackson at Running-Back, Matt Ryan leading the offense, and Roddy White & Julio Jones on both sides with a returning Tony Gonzalez, this 2013 season is looking bright for the Falcons! How do you think they faired?
*Information provided by Dave Te’ Thomas and Laurie Pennycook for the NFL