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D. Orlando LedbetterD. Orlando Ledbetter

5 things to know about Falcons’ rookie minicamp

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FLOWERY BRANCH — Here are five things to know about the Falcons rookie minicamp, which starts Friday and runs through Sunday.

Tennessee offensive lineman James Stone (64) has signed with the Falcons. (Photo by Associated Press)

Tennessee offensive lineman James Stone (64) has signed with the Falcons. (Photo by Associated Press)

Also, below are tweets from the Pro Football Draft Guide 2014 and how they rated the Falcons’ draft picks at their press time. (They made some pretty interesting information.)

1. COACHING: Falcons coach Mike Smith did not like the fact that the draft was pushed back two weeks. Under his tenure, the Falcons have done a great job of getting their rookies ready to play early. His staff worked a football miracle by going to the playoffs with a rookie quarterback back in 2008. Because of the time crunch, the Falcons rookies reported immediately after the draft and are already being indoctrinated into how the team functions. “We have to get those guys up to speed as quickly as possible,” Smith said. “There is no time to rest. We’ve got to get moving and moving forward because we’ve lost some time with these young players.”

2. ATTENDANCE:  All of the drafted and undrafted rookies are expected to attend. The Falcons will also add some tryout players.

Dezmen Southward (Associated Press)

Dezmen Southward (Associated Press)

3. CAMP RANDALL SOUTH: With three Wisconsin Badgers, Flowery Branch will be Camp Randall South. In addition to draft pick Dezmen Southward, the Falcons signed undrafted tight ends Brian Wozniak and Jacob Peterson. We also hear that former Badger Nate Tice, son of assistant line coach Mike Tice, has a scouting department internship.

4. GREAT ACCESS: Jake Matthews, Ra’Shede Hageman and Southward will available to the media following Friday’s practice.

5. UNDRAFTED STARS?: The Falcons added 20 undrafted free agents, the most in league. Last season, Paul Worrilow, Joplo Bartu, Ryan Schraeder and Terren Jones were undrafted rookies. Worrilow led the team in tackles with 137. Tennessee center James Stone, a four year starter for the Vols, is an early favorite to compete for a roster spot.

THE ATLANTA FALCONS 2014 DRAFT CLASS

Round 1 / 6 — Jake Matthews, RT, 6-5, 308, Texas A&M

Round 2/37 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, 6-6, Minnesota

Round 3/68 – Dezmen Southward, FS, 6-0, 211, Wisconsin

Round 4/103 – Devonta Freeman, RB, 5-8, 206, Florida State

Round 4/139 – Prince Shembo, LB, 6-1, 253 Notre Dame

Round 5/147 – Ricardo Allen, CB, 5-9, 187, Purdue

Round 5/168 – Marquis Spruill, LB, 6-1, 231, Syracuse

Round 7/253 – Yawin Smallwood, LB, 6-2, 246, Connecticut

Round 7/255 – Tyler Starr, LB, 6-4, 250, South Dakota

 

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