Posted: 9:46 am Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

5 best compensatory picks by the Falcons 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Jason Snelling was one of the better compensatory picks by the Falcons.

Jason Snelling was one of the better compensatory picks by the Falcons.

Fans get all excited about compensatory picks, but since 2007 the Falcons haven’t exactly hit the jackpot with the extra picks.

There have been some starters picked like the recently released Thomas DeCoud, some  solid picks like running back Jason Snelling and some busts like Kansas wide receiver Kerry Meier.

Here’s a look at the Falcons five best compensatory picks by the Falcons in recent history:

1. JASON SNELLING, RB: He was drafted by the Falcons in the seventh round (244th overall ) of the 2007 NFL Draft. Serving mostly a reserve role and as a spot starter, Snelling accumulated 1,420 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in seven seasons before retiring this offseason.

2. THOMAS DeCOUD, FS: He ascended to a starting role and made the Pro Bowl in 2012 as an alternate. His  play tackling and ball skills diminished miserably last season. He was a third-round pick in 2008 (98th overall). DeCoud played primarily on special teams in 10 games as a rookie. DeCoud started at free safety the following season and was a fixture of the Falcons’ defense, starting 78 games before being released.

Here’s a photo gallery of some of the recent compensatory picks.

3. LEVINE TOILOLO, TE: He had 11 catches for 55 yards and 2 touchdowns in 9 games (2 starts) of his rookie season with the Falcons. The Falcons drafted the tight end out of Stanford in the fourth round (133rd pick overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.

4. MIKE JOHNSON, OL: He was a third-round selection in 2010 (98th overall pick). He played in two games in 2011, spending most of the season on injured reserve. He played 16 games in 2012 as a backup tackle and a blocking tight end. He’d won the starting right tackle spot before being injured last season.

5. ZEKE MOTTA, FS/SS:  He started one game before being placed on injured reserve before the final regular-season game against Carolina. Motta had surgery to repair a fracture of the C1 verterbrae in his neck. Motta suffered the injury during Atlanta’s 27-26 victory over the Redskins on Dec. 15. Smith said the recovery time for Motta’s injury was 4-6 weeks.


– Tight end Martrez Milner was taken in the fourth round (133rd overall) in 2007. He spent one season with the team before being released on Sept. 16, 2008.

– Wide receiver Kerry Meier was selected in the fifth round in 2010 (165th overall). He spent the 2010 season on injury reserve. Meier appeared in 12 games in 2011 without recording a reception. The Falcons cut Meier prior to the 2012 season.

– Defensive tackle Travian Robertson was selected in the seventh round (249th overall) by the Atlanta Falcons in 2012. Robertson has played in 12 games, primarily as a backup, over the last two season and has recorded 4 tackles.

– Free safety Kemal Ishmael was selected in the seventh round (243rd overall) by the Falcons in 2013. Ishmael was inactive for most of the season. He played in four games and made one special-teams tackle.

– Quarterback Sean Renfree was selected in the seventh round (249th overall) by the Falcons in 2013. He suffered a season-ending injury in the Falcons exhibition  season finale and spent the season on injured reserve.


–Blog: Falcons are not switching to a 3-4 defense front, they’ve been using it for past 2 seasons

–Blog: Falcons awarded three compensatory picks

–Blog: Lamar Holmes was a performance-pay leader in 2014

–Blog: Umenyiora will return in 2014, no restructured deal

–Blog: Falcons release FB Bradie Ewing

–Blog: Falcons WR Roddy White owes Mercer fan some prime tickets

–Blog: Falcons owner Arthur Blank engaged to be married.  

–Blog: Former Falcons WR Kevin Cone to work out for Carolina

–Blog: Falcons re-sign defensive tackle Peria Jerry

–Blog: NFL to move forward on cleaning up ‘on-field’ language


–MyAJC ($): Falcons spend $80 million in free agency to buy toughness

–Las Vegas doesn’t like Falcons’ free agency moves

–Falcons Free Agency Tracker — Falcons have committed $107.36 million to salaries 

–Q&A with PR/KR/WR Devin Hester

–Q&A with Falcons right guard Jon Asamoah

–Q&A with Falcons defensive end Tyson Jackson

–Q&A with Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai


–Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons trade out of sixth spot to land Pryor and Ebron

–12 teams who could draft UGA star Aaron Murray

–Louisville LB Preston Brown to work out for the Falcons

–Louisville DE Marcus Smith to work out for the Falcons

–MyAJC ($): OT Greg Robinson, DE Dee Ford shine at Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Tackle Greg Robinson on Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Running back Tra Mason on Auburn’s Pro Day

–Blog & VIDEO: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd has stellar Pro Day showing

–VIDEO: Clemson WR Sammy Watkins on his Pro Day


Meier was often injured but honestly, the death of his brother in that tragic accident took away his will to compete.


If Grimes was the "gift that kept on giving," then DeCoud was "energy theft that kept on taking!"  That list is just typical, all full of so-called "potential." But when it takes until you get to your option year to excel, it should be a huge red flag!


If we can get one of those stud offensive lineman with that sixth pick and a safety with that 37th pick, I can live with that. Now if Clowney happens to be around, then it becomes a tuff call.


So, D-Led I keep seeing draftniks saying the Falcons need to draft a TE to replace Gonzalez. But you would know better what the thinking in Flowery Branch is. Do the Falcons think Toilolo can be the starter?


Hopefully we get another guy like Snelling in here. Hard worker who does his best each time he touches the football. 


Mike Johnson is a potential starter, Decoud had a couple good years. Anytime you are picking after the second round, to get one or two good years out of a guy is a success and an advantage over your competition. Dled is such a downer.


Who cars abut thse guys. Flacons need 2 fucos on gettin Johanny Fottball


@JSSN Other than maybe Jason Snelling, this list is full of, at best potential(and abject failure in partsl! 

Makes you not feel so warm and happy to have these extra picks, but someone even wins the lottery, so who knows!


@JackClemens I think even though Toilolo will be hard pressed to fill Tony's shoes, I think he'll be the starter this year. also at this stage in his career- he'll be able to stretch the field a lot better than and older Gonzales. Also maybe they feel there not as deep at tight-end if an injury occurs....


@PhilipHarden Everyone has their opinion, but I honestly at this point don't get the Mike Johnson support from so many.

1. He played two games in 2011 spending most of the season on injured reserve.

2. He played 16 games in 2012 as 2nd string guard and a blocking tight end on goal line/short yardage situations.

3. Projected starter at right tackle in 2013 and was placed on injured reserve three days later ending the year

Started one game in his carrier and is the most injury prone player on the team since ironman Brady Ewing got ejected.

I hope he does turn out to be a player, but Ive seen every indication that he wont even be healthy enough to try.



DeCoud had two good "halves" of a "couple of years" (2009 and 2011).  There is no "potential" left in the Mike Johnson tank, it is right now (start of camp) or never coming off a serious intra-articular fracture! Th


@DarlaLewis @JackClemens  I don't expect the next tight end to be an All-Pro, but was just wondering if Toilolo is expected to be a decent starter, or if there's an urgency to find other options.