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10 quick observations from Falcons open OTAs

FLOWERY BRANCH – While the Falcons continue to stress that they’ll be a multiple defensive team, the spent a great deal of time working on their 3-4 alignment during the first open OTA session on Wednesday.

Also, cornerback Desmond Trufant has been switched to left cornerback and Robert Alford lined up at right cornerback. Last season, Asante Samuel played left cornerback before Alford finished the season as the starter.

Generally, the defense appeared ahead of the offense, which is normal for this juncture of the offseason.

Here are 10 quick observations from the session:

Outside linebacker/defensive end Kroy Biermann stretching before OTA practice on Wednesday. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/

Outside linebacker/defensive end Kroy Biermann stretching before OTA practice on Wednesday. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/

1. THE 3-4: Left defensive end Tyson Jackson, nose tackle Paul Soliai, right defensive end Jonathan Babineaux. Left outside linebacker Kroy Biermann, left inside linebacker Paul Worrilow, right inside linebacker Joplo Bartu and right outside linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi. Left corner Desmond Trufant, strong safety William Moore, free safety Dwight Lowery and right cornerback Robert Alford.  Lowery was signed in free agency and appears set to replace Thomas DeCoud.

2. FIRST-TEAM OFFENSIVE LINE: Left tackle Sam Baker, left guard Justin Blalock, center Joe Hawley and Peter Konz were splitting time, right guard Jon Asamoah, right tackle Jake Matthews.

3. SECOND-TEAM OFFENSIVE LINE: Left tackle Lamar Holmes, left guard Mike Johnson, center Konz or Hawley, right guard Harland Gunn and right tackle Ryan Schraeder.

4. PUNT RETURNERS: Devin Hester, Harry Douglas, Robert Alford and Robert McClain were back catching punts during the special teams period.

5. HYBRID CREW: The players who will fill the outside linebacker/defensive end role in the 3-4 all went with outside linebacker coaches Mark Collins doing the individual period. The group included Kroy Biermann, Stansly Maponga, Tyler Starr, Walker May and Jacques Smith.

6. SHEMBO IN COVERAGE: Falcons coach Mike Smith gave rookie linebacker Prince Shembo some tips after he dropped in coverage during one drill.

7. LOWERY MAKES PLAY ON BALL: During the 11-on-11 team session, with the first-team playing against the first-team, Lowery made an interception of a Matt Ryan pass.

8. VISITORS: Some assistant coaches from the University of Tennessee were on hand. Also, Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof was on hand to watch practice.

9. DID NOT PRACTICE: Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (knee), safety Zeke Motta (neck), defensive tackle Corey Peters (Achilles), wide receiver Julio Jones (foot), wide receiver Roddy White (personal reasons) and running back Davonta Freeman.

10. WIDE RECEIVERS:  With Jones and White out, Darius Johnson and Harry Douglas were the first-team wide receivers.


–Tuesday – OTA No. 2.

–Thursday – OTA No. 3.

–Friday – Strength and Conditioning plus a rookie practice

–Monday– OTA No. 4.

–Tuesday, June 3 – OTA No. 5.

–Wednesday, June 4 – OTA No. 6.

–Thursday, June 5 – Rookie Practice.

–Monday, June 9 – Hacks vs. Jocks golf tournament. Defending champs – Team Scelfo.

–Tuesday, June 10 – OTA No. 7.

–Wednesday, June 11 – OTA No. 8.

–Thursday, June 12 – OTA No. 9.

–Friday, June 13 – OTA No. 10.

–Monday, June 16 – Physicals.

–Tuesday, June 17 — Day One: Mandatory minicamp (5 practices over three days)

–Wednesday, June 18 – Day Two: Mandatory minicamp.

–Thursday, June 19 – Day Three: Mandatory minicamp. (Offseason program ends for veterans).

TBA – Rookie Symposium

TBA – (Late July) – Report to Training camp.


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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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