Entering the third and final day of the draft the Atlanta Falcons had a total of five picks; however they left with only four players.
Joe Hawley OL (UNLV)
The Falcons selected Joe Hawley – OL UNLV – in the 4th round (No. 117 overall).
A talented blocker who is a leader along the line entering his senior season … A versatile player who has started at two interior positions but begins his senior season as the starter at one guard spot … A preseason Second Team All-MWC selection by Phil Steele’s, which ranked him the nation’s No. 51 guard … A member of the 2009 Rebel Leadership Committee.
The trend continues – the Falcons are building for depth, versatility, and character … not necessarily in that order. CBSSports.com has Hawley as the 6th best center in the 2010 draft, so maybe the Falcons brass expects Hawley to eventually replace longtime center Todd McClure.
Dominique Franks CB (Oklahoma)
The Falcons selected Dominique Franks – CB Oklahoma – in the 5th round (No. 135 overall).
As the Falcons continue to rebuild their secondary, one would expect that a 6’0” CB that can also return punts and kickoffs will earn a roster spot. Not to say that Franks will get on the field right away in the secondary, but I can see him contribute at the start of the season on special teams and at some point he may be able to earn his way into the CB mix as a reserve.
The Falcons must be high on Franks because they traded up with the Rams to get Franks, which cost a 6th round pick. Franks looks like a coverage only CB; he is not going to get after the QB and force sacks, however Franks did have 2 INTs in 2009 and 4 INTs in 2008. It is hard for me to say those are solid numbers in the pass happy Big-12, but seeing that Franks managed 5 pass breakups in 2009, and 10 in 2008 gives some encouragement that the Falcons must expect Franks to be more than an eventual reserve.
Kerry Meier WR (Kansas)
The Falcons selected Kerry Meier – WR Kansas – in the 5th round (No. 165 overall).
Meier looks like a very versatile (read athletic) player out of Kansas. Meier was a QB and punter in high school, and eventually converted to a WR, where he excelled. Last year Meier racked up just under 1000 yards and 8 TDs on 102 receptions.
At 6’2” and 220, Meier will challenge for some playing time.
Shann Schillinger S (Montana)
The Falcons selected Shann Schillinger – S Montana – in the 6th round (No. 171 overall).
I could not find a lot on Schillinger, other than he is probably another high character type, however unlike the Falcons’ other 2010 picks, I don’t think Schillinger provides much versatility. He looks to be the definition of a gamer, and was probably drafted for special team coverage, and depth at safety, although 8 career INTs does not look all that bad.