Atlanta Falcons blog 

Atlanta Falcons blog by the AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter

Dee Ford: There is no feud with Jadeveon Clowney

  • 7:01 am Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn edge rusher Dee Ford, after his stellar showing at the school’s Pro Day on Tuesday, wanted to make one thing clear.

Despite his brash comments about South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney at the scouting combine, there is no feud between the SEC rivals.

Ford referred to Clowney as a blind dog in a meat shop, who relied on his athletic talent.

“It’s a great story and it sounds good, but what I want everyone to know is that me and Clowney are not feuding,” Ford told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We compete. If he sets a number, I’m going to try [More]

NFL combine: Big Ten corners Roby, Dennard shine

  • 3:40 pm Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Two Big Ten cornerbacks from Georgia had strong workouts on the final day of the NFL scouting combine on Tuesday.

Former Ohio State standout Bradley Roby, of Peachtree Ridge High, and Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard, of Twiggs County High, solidified their status as first-round draft picks for the upcoming NFL draft, which will be held May 8-10.

Roby ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds, which was the fourth-fastest time of the cornerbacks. He also finished in the top 10 in the vertical jump, bench-press and broad jump.

Dennard ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds, which was the 13th fastest time and [More]

Falcons’ draft board: Khalil Mack vs. Anthony Barr

  • 11:31 am Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS – The word on the streets of the Circle City is that the Atlanta Falcons have Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack rated higher than UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.

Both of the linebackers could help the Falcons defense and should be available if they hold onto the sixth pick in the draft.

Mack tested better than Barr at the NFL scouting combine on Monday.

Mack ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds (tied for fourth), had a vertical leap of 40 inches (second), broad jump of 10 feet, 8 inches (second), lifted 225 pounds, 23 times (11th) and three-cone drill of 7.08 (10th) and 20-yard [More]

NFL combine: Norcross’ Hubbard has solid day

  • 10:43 am Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard, of Norcross High, had a solid day on Monday at the NFL scouting combine.

He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.69 seconds, had a vertical jump of 38.5 inches and had a broad jump of 9 feet, 9 inches.

He measured 6-foot-6, weighed 257 pounds, had a wingspan of 82.5 inches and his hands were measured at 9.2.

Hubbard believes he can play outside linebacker in the 3-4 or 4-3.

“I can play outside on the edge of the defense leveraging the ball,” Hubbard said. “I’ve played 3-4 outside linebacker and 4-3 end.”

We’re catching up to the local [More]

NFL combine: Top performers of Day Three

  • 5:11 pm Monday, February 24th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

A quick look at the third day of the combine workouts:

Inside the numbers: South Carolina defensive Jadeveon Clowney ran the 40-yard dash in

an unofficial 4.47 seconds. His official time was 4.53, which was tops for the defensive linemen. The NFL Network showed a graphic where his time was much faster than Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and one of showing him faster than quarterbacks Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick.

He’s fast: Florida State linebacker Telvin Smith, of Lowndes, had the second-fastest time of the linebackers in the 40-yard dash. He ran it in 4.52 seconds. He tied for the 12th best broad jump at 9 feet, 11 [More]

Could Dennis Pitta replace Tony Gonzalez?

  • 1:29 pm Monday, February 24th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

When the Falcons return from the NFL scouting combine, they will turn their attention to free agency.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said there has been a lot of internal discussions about the team’s free agents, but none have been offered contract extensions.

The Falcons’ list of potential unrestricted free agents include defensive linemen Jonathan Babineaux, Peria Jerry and Corey Peters, offensive linemen Joe Hawley, Mike Johnson, Sean Locklear and Jeremy Trueblood, tight end Chase Coffman, cornerback Dominique Franks and linebacker Omar Gaither.

The Falcons also must replace tight end Tony Gonzalez.

In a report by Clifton Brown, the Ravens Insider for CSNBaltimore.com, the Falcons are [More]

NFL combine: Georgia Southern’s Jerick McKinnon put on a show

  • 10:00 am Monday, February 24th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS – Georgia Southern running back Jerick McKinnon, of Sprayberry High, lifted 225-pounds 32 times, which was tops for the running backs at the NFL scouting combine on Sunday.

McKinnon ran the sixth fastest 40-yard dash (4.41 seconds officially), had the second-best vertical jump of 40.5 inches and had the second-best broad jump of 11 feet.

“As far as the running backs, I think (Jerick) McKinnon from Georgia Southern is a real wild card in this draft…He had a big day,” NFL Network draft analyst MIke Mayock said.

In today’s NFL, running backs are not valued as high for the draft. There wasn’t a running [More]

NFL combine: Connor Shaw, Albert Wilson shine on Day Two

  • 7:49 pm Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS — South Carolina quarterback Conner Shaw, of Flowery Branch High, and Georgia State wide receiver Albert Wilson had strong days on Sunday.

Shaw had the third-fastest 40-yard time (4.66 seconds) of the quarterbacks. He also had the third highest vertical jump (34 inches), fifth-best broad jump (9 feet, 8 inches), fifth-best three-cone drill (7.07 seconds) and 11th-best 20-yard short shuttle in his position group.

“I’ve met with Tampa Bay and Jacksonville,” Shaw said. “(I’ve had)  a bunch of informal talks. I think I have met with every team except for about seven for informal interviews. It’s been a good bit. I did not talk [More]

NFL combine: Top performers of Day Two

  • 7:14 pm Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS — A quick look back at the second day of the combine workouts:

Inside the numbers: Former Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell, who transferred to Alabama State, had solid day. He had a 38-inch vertical jump, lifted 225-pounds 23 times and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds officially. There were some much lower hand-held times of 4.32, which was the fastest of the 220-pound plus running backs.

He’s fast: Kent State running back Dri Archer ran the 40-yard dash in 4.26 seconds. He predicted that he would break Tennessee running back Chris Johnson’s mark of 4.24 seconds.

He’s strong: Georgia Southern running [More]

NFL combine: Top performers of Day One

  • 5:39 pm Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS — A quick look back at the first day of the combine workouts:

Inside the numbers: South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney’s wing span, finger tip to finger tip, was measured at 83 inches.

He’s fast: Tennessee State tight end A.C. Leonard had the fastest 40-yard dash time of the tight ends. He ran 4.5 seconds.

He’s strong: North Carolina center Russell Bodine lifted 225 pounds 42 times.

For the record: “I believe I did work hard. You pull out any practice tape from last year, you’ll see that. That’s what I told them. I’ll tell everybody that. I will always be working hard.” [More]