The only reason I am saying B+ and not a slam dunk “A” is because I am not 100% certain that Moore is a day one starter. I think that scenario is likely to be the case, but training camp will tell the story.
The ESPN NFC South Blog thinks the Falcons got the upper hand on the rest of the NFC South with the selection of Peria …
“The Falcons stayed at No. 24 and selected Mississippi’s Peria Jerry and — at least in the short term — they might be the winners of this draft for the NFC South. The Saints and Bucs both could have used Peria.
There’s no doubt Jerry will be starting next to Jonathan Babineaux on opening day. There’s almost no doubt Peria would have started for the Saints or Bucs right away.
We’ll grade this draft in a few years. But, as of right now, the Falcons are the only NFC South with an absolute certain immediate starter.”
They also think that Moore is a likely starter …
“I’ve said all along, the Falcons needed to get two immediate defensive starters out of this draft. I think they’ve done that.
The addition of Missouri safety William Moore in the second round should fill what was Atlanta’s only real remaining hole in the starting lineup. The Falcons aren’t about to give up on second-year pro Thomas DeCoud, but Moore’s draft status and physical skills probably will make him the starter at strong safety.
That spot was wide open when veteran Lawyer Milloy was released after last season. Moore is a physical player with a lot of upside and adding him was a very wise move because the Falcons are going to have to deal with tight ends like New Orleans’ Jeremy Shockey and Tampa Bay’s Kellen Winslow on a regular basis.”
I have not looked around at the full complement of sites posting grades, winners and losers, but I thought it was interesting that CBS Sports graded Peria and Moore as the second best player at their respective positions:
2. Peria Jerry
6-2, 299, Mississippi
2. William Moore
6-0, 221, Missouri
If we assume for a moment that Peria is a day one starter, and Moore wins Lawyer’s old job, then Day One was actually an “A” for the Falcons. Time will tell; hope I am selling ATL a little short.