Falcons didn’t directly address their lack of a pass rush in free agency.
However, they have taken four defensive ends in recent drafts — Cliff Matthews, Jonathan Massaquoi, Malliciah Goodman and Stansly Maponga — and hope to get Kroy Biermann back next season from Achilles surgery. However, they appear ready to address the pass rush in the draft.
Lousiville’s Marcus Smith, a 6-foot-3, 252 pound defensive end/linebacker, said that he has a workout scheduled with the Falcons on Wednesday, according to Jody Demling, who’s at Louisville’s Pro Day. (He’s the publisher of Cardinal Authority, a http://Scout.com site.)
Smith, who played from Columbus Hardaway High, is projected as a second/third-round pick by NFLDraftScout.com and is the 5th rated defensive end. He was on the North team in the Senior Bowl and played for the Falcons’ coaching staff.
Smith had the fifth-fastest 40-yard dash time (4.68 seconds) and the eight-best broad jump of 10 feet, 1 inch of the defensive linemen at the NFL scouting combine. He also had a vertical jump of 35 inches and lifted 225 pounds, 23 times.
Smith had 15 sacks for 115 yards in losses, 19 tackles for loss for minus 124 yards, forced four fumbles and recovered two fumbles last season when he was named the American Athletic Conference’s defensive player of the year.
In another ancillary draft matter, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is set to meet with the Texans, who have the No. 1 overall pick. If he can impress the Texans and earn the No. 1 overall pick, that would push another good position player down to the Falcons, who hold the sixth overall pick.