Posted: 12:00 pm Thursday, May 15th, 2014

5 things to know about Falcons’ rookie minicamp 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

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

 

24 comments
AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

According to Pro Football Draft Guide 2014, the #Falcons got the 4th rated DT in the 2nd round.


If he comes to camp ready to play, and he has his head on right, and he learns the system, and he gets to play, and Smitty stays out of his way and he gets "coached" correctly........STEAL OF THE DRAFT! 


How many "and's" is that?

RogerHenslee
RogerHenslee

29th rated safety in the third round...I guess size and speed are more important than ability. The dude couldn't cover anyone according to what I've read at many different football websites....but hopefully he can be coached up but seems a real reach taking Southward in the third.

Dsyelxia
Dsyelxia

A 6th thing to know about Falcons’ rookie minicamp - they improved this horrendous offensive line by one player. I hope Matt Ryan enjoys lying on his back counting the stars.

falcons_fan
falcons_fan

very good look group this year, lots of possibilities. Noticed the list of 20 free agents and 24 tryouts. Exciting times. Looks like 5 QBs competing this weekend? That should be exciting! Always root for the underdogs in the mix. Guess that means that the Danny O'Brien kid should make it to the roster? It could happen!!!


D-3
D-3

D-Led, 


Wanted to thank you for you help and support over the years. It's been a great ride and I appreciate all you did for myself and our cage readers. I'll be reading you all the time, as always. Keep up the great work and best of luck to you!


http://thefalconscage.wordpress.com/

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Looks obvious to me the Falcons are "weeding out" the TE position. That's OK with me. Would have liked to seen us add an experienced WR like Sydney Rice to help take up Gonzalez slack. HD never performs well when the team is actually good and relying on him at the same time.

I just don't see much from the Toilio kid. Cauffman is useless, so apparently the plan is to use the Bear on running downs then go 3 - 4 wide on obvious passing downs.

zuzu331
zuzu331

See above,they got some steals! Shembo,Starr and Smallwood are all PASS RUSH monsters. Southward has the size and pop to be a great blitzing safety. It'll be fun to see what they can do with em'!

warfalcon
warfalcon

All negative people please go play darts and stand in front of the dart board.


POSITIVE


LETS GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

Cant' wait. Chompin at the bit.  

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

Freeman is the one I'm most pleasantly surprised we picked up.......the others seem to be the smart choices we needed to make. The fresh groundwork has been added, now to see if these new coaches can get this team back on track to the SB....Go Falcons!

anothercomment
anothercomment

Mr. Ledbetter , what is the name of the free agent pick up, who was the QB our daughters cheered for at Campbell.. ?

Barves_Loss_Agian
Barves_Loss_Agian

Is the camp oepn 2 the pubic? If so I want 2 go there and boo the Flacos 4 not pix Mansell

Dman
Dman

Can't wait until preseason. I'm ready to see these new Falcons now...

JSSN
JSSN

@BigCrimson75  

Coffman's already gone, but they can go 3, 4, or even 5 receiver sets, but that is the same thing that got better teams with actual TEs in trouble. You have to be firm up the middle of your blocking to get away with running receivers up the deep seam. I don't care how freakish Julio is, you don't want to make a habit of exposing him in that area. You don't want any injury prone wideout going there too often.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

The Falcons had a good Draft haul. 2nd year running in actuality!!

Heggeman was a great pick. Freeman and the LBs all have potential.

Can this coaching staff get the job done? Near the top of Smitty's many weaknesses as a HC is his hatred towards rookies. He hates all rookies because they need coaching to get acclimated to the league...... And he's a piss-poor coach.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

I thought Tre Mason, Carlos Hyde and the kid from Washington were the top 3 backs in the Draft. After that it was hard to differentiate. Let's allow this kid to do his thing!! He was certainly better than wilder Jr at FSU.

Barves_Loss_Agian
Barves_Loss_Agian

@LeftisnotRight  Flacons will nevery go 2 the Superbowel with week arm Rayan at QB. They had a cahnce 2 fix that with Mansell but blue it. Time 2 fire Dummytroff. 

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

Barves.......so you are saying Cleveland will be in the SB.......?