Atlanta Falcons 2008 NFL Draft Grade
Holy Mole, did Atlanta add a lot of players! The one thing you can say about their draft is they didn't really reach for any particular player. Arguably their first seven picks could be future starters. The one area they should have addressed and didn't is the defensive line, but that’s really slicing hairs. Matt Ryan should be good as he has all the tools to be successful. The addition of Sam Baker is key to Ryan’s Success as he will be expected to protect his blind side and quite capable he is of doing so.

Curtis Lofton should have gone in the first round and should start from day one. Atlanta traded its best player in DeAngelo Hall in the off-season and took two stabs at replacing him. Both Chevis Jackson and Will Fontenot are very good prospects. Fontenot slipped to the seventh round because he was out-shadowed by teammate Antoine Cason, a first round selection. Jackson, on the other hand, was the number one corner for National Champion LSU. Robert James and Thomas DeCoud, two Pac-10 standouts, could end up battling for the same position in training camp. A guy like Harry Douglas has a real knack for making plays and should fit in the slot nicely, a good safety valve for Matt Ryan. 

It is tough to find a sleeper on a really good class, but I'll go with Thomas Brown, a really good back from a good program at Georgia. He's a tough runner between the tackles and could turn out a lot like free agent signee Michael Turner. Kroy Biermann will be good on special teams but unless they're unhappy with Lofton, he'll only see spot time on the field. 

Round 1 (3) – Matt Ryan – QB – 6’5” 224 – Boston College 

Round 1 (21) – Sam Baker – OT – 6’5” 312 – USC 

Round 2 (37) – Curtis Lofton – LB – 6’0” 238 – Oklahoma 

Round 3 (68) – Chevis Jackson – CB – 6’0” 188 – LSU 

Round 3 (84) – Harry Douglas – WR – 5’11” 176 – Louisville 

Round 3 (98) – Thomas DeCoud – FS – 6’2” 196 – California 

Round 5 (138) – Robert James – OLB – 5’11” 219 – Arizona State 

Round 5 (154) – Kroy Biermann – OLB – 6’3” 242 – Montana 

Round 6 (172) – Thomas Brown – RB – 5’9” 204 – Georgia 

Round 7 (212) – Wilrey Fontenot – CB – 5’9” 171 – Arizona 

Round 7 (232) – Keith Zinger – TE – 6’4” 270 – Duke 

Atlanta Falcons – Draft Grade – A 

By T. Lewis, 20Yardline.com
May 7, 2008