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Atlanta Falcons - NFC South
Missouri S William Moore
Missouri S William Moore
Posted Apr 27, 2009

Atlanta Falcons - NFC South, 2009 Draft Selections & Prospects

Atlanta Falcons

- 2009 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 2nd Round | 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Rd | 7th Rd

CFN 2009 Draft Central & Team-by-Team Picks and Analysis


24 24 1st Round 
Peria Jerry, DT Ole Miss  6-1, 295
Jerry is either the star of the draft and a sure-thing Pro Bowl performer for the next ten years, or he’s a mega-bust waiting to happen who’ll never be 100% healthy. The talent in undeniable with tremendous quickness across the line and into the backfield, and he’s a hard worker who’ll try to become a cornerstone of a front wall, but he’ll be 25 when he starts his career, isn’t anchor-strong, and he’ll struggle to stay healthy, He had a variety of little bangs and bruises throughout his career that turned out to be limiting for stretches. When he’s on the field he’ll be an instant-impact performer who’ll do a little of everything well, but he’s a piece of the puzzle and not necessarily the tackle you can count on game-in-and-game-out for a full year.
CFN Value Rank: First Round
   CFN Position Rank: 2
23 55 2nd Round 
William Moore, SS Missouri 6-1, 220
After his junior year he looked like he’d be a sure-thing, superstar Pro Bowl performer the second he decided to go pro. He came back for his senior year and wasn’t the same playmaker. On sheer skills and physical ability he’s the best safety in the draft. He’s tough, a good tackler, and fast, but he could stand to get a bit stronger after only coming up with 16 reps on the bench at the Combine. Did he get by on his physical ability as a junior and was he exposed a bit as a senior? Not necessarily, but that’s the big question about his instincts. There’s no questioning his work ethic or his character, and he’ll be a leader in the locker room, but there might be limitations on how much he ends up producing if he’s asked to do more than stop the run.
CFN Value Rank: Second Round
    CFN Position Rank: 7
26 90 3rd Round
Christopher Owens, CB San Jose State 5-10, 180
A natural corner who always seems to be a step ahead of the action and is quick enough to read and react to everything in front of him. Even though he's not necessarily small, he'll get shoved all over the place by bigger, physical receivers. A good off-season with some nice workouts upped his stock, but he's still a flier of a pick.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent
   CFN Position Rank: NR
25 125 4th Round
Lawrence Sidbury, DE Richmond  6-3, 267
Very long, very productive, and very, very fast, he has the skills to be one of the high-rising prospects in the draft. He was the fastest defensive lineman at the Combine ripping off a 4.54 to go along with his tremendous pass rushing production at the FCS level. He needs to show he can hold up against the better competition and he needs to develop more moves, but the upside is tremendous. Give him the right coach and ask him to blast into the backfield, and he should be able to do it. The athleticism, the strength, and the quickness are too much to be overlooked.
CFN Value Rank: Second Round
   CFN Position Rank: 8
2 138 5th Round (from St. Louis)
William Middleton, CB 5-10, 190 Furman
Tough like a safety with good tackling skills, he can be used in a variety of ways and will be willing to do whatever is needed to succeed. However, he's not physical against the bigger receivers  and he didn't always play up to his speed even at the lower level. He'll have to be a nickel or dime back to make the team.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent
   CFN Position Rank: NR
20 156 5th Round (from Dallas)
Garrett Reynolds, OT North Carolina 6-7, 310
A potential first day prospect before the off-season, he had a disastrous Combine showing no strength and no athleticism. However, he has the perfect size and is a warrior. He has the attitude and the nastiness that everyone looks for, and he’s great when he’s gets his hands on someone. However, he can’t play on the left side and needs to become a workout warrior to have any sort of pro career.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 17
1 210 7th Round (from Dallas through Detroit)
Vance Walker, DT Georgia Tech  6-2, 305
A red-hot prospect after his junior year, he struggled a bit once the draft spotlight was on throughout his senior year. He’s a great interior pass rushing prospect for his size and he plays quicker than his workouts might indicate, but he doesn’t play nearly as big or as strong as his bulk. He’s a big body who could fill a hole on the inside. If he gets with a pro trainer and transforms himself into a large tackle into a large, strong tackle, he could be a great value pick considering his interior quickness and work ethic. He’s always moving and always trying to make something happen.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round    CFN Position Rank: 12


The Draft Was ... Functional. The franchise needed to start from scratch, and this class did just that taking solid leaders and character players like QB Matt Ryan, OT Sam Baker and LB Curtis Lofton. The defensive back seven got a major influx of talent, but this draft is all about Ryan. He had better be worth it.
Best Value Pick: Thomas DeCoud, FS California. 3rd Round. With good versatilty, he can play either safety spot and can be a playmaker on special teams. In a safety-weak draft, it wouldn't have been a shock if he went a round earlier.
Biggest Reach: Chevis Jackson, CB LSU. 3rd round. While he's a good prospect and should grow into a nice starter, the Falcons are in big trouble if they think they've replaced DeAngelo Hall with the slow Jackson.
They Should've ... Taken Glenn Dorsey at the three and taken a quarterback in the second round. Holding on to the third pick in round two would've been the key, but then the Falcons would've had their defensive anchor and a Chad Henne or a Brian Brohm.


3 3 1st Round    Matt Ryan, QB Boston College
Ryan is tough as nails, a great leader, and a winner who'll make a Pro Bowl or three, but he's not a once-in-a-generation type. While he's considered head-and-shoulders ahead of everyone else in the race to be the top NFL quarterback prospect in this year's draft, he's not a supreme talent like a Peyton Manning or Troy Aikman, and he doesn't do anything special like a JaMarcus Russell or Michael Vick. However, he's not David Carr or Alex Smith. Tall, mobile, smart, and with the poise and the skills to be a productive pro for the next ten years, there's no real downside; he looks the part. However, he's not the type of quarterback who'll carry an NFL team to greatness on his own, but he could eventually take a very good team over the top. Interceptions were a problem when he tried to do too much on his own, and he didn't handle the pressure well when defenses were able to hit him on a regular basis. Then again, neither did Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.
CFN Value Rank: First Round   CFN Position Rank: 1
21 21 1st Round (from Washington)   Sam Baker, OT USC
The son of the Arena Football League's commissioner is an athletic big man who was tremendously productive for four years playing at the highest level each and every week. While he's good in pass protection and is great on the move, he's not necessarily a rock against speed rushers and isn't quite as dominant a run blocker as many would like. He's a technician; not a mauler.
CFN Value Rank: Second Round   CFN Position Rank:
6 37 2nd Round    Curtis Lofton, ILB Oklahoma
A tremendous inside presence, the 243-pound playmaker is a consistent big-hitter who's great when the spotlight goes on. The best pure inside linebacker in the draft, Lofton plays better than his athleticism because he always knows what he's doing and has great anticipation. While he might not be able to run down too many speedsters, he takes good enough angles to overcome his lack of raw speed. He's a flat-out baller.
CFN Value Rank: Second Round   CFN Position Rank: 4
5 68 3rd Round   Chevis Jackson, CB LSU
Jackson got lumped in with past LSU defensive backs as many assumed he'd be just as good as a LaRon Landry (who played a different position) among others, and while he was fine as a three-year starters at a high level, and had a whale of a senior season, he's not quite an elite player. Too stringy at 6-0 and 192 pounds, and way too slow with 4.62 speed, he'll be limited unless he bulks up and becomes a safety. Even so, he's a football player and will be better than his measurables.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round   CFN Position Rank: 17
21 84 3rd Round (from trade)  Harry Douglas, WR Louisville
It's all about his return ability. While he's very tough and he proved he could be a No. 1 receiver at the collegiate level, he's not big enough or fast enough to be more than a No. 3 on anyone's offense. However, he could blossom as a kick and punt returner. Even though he's tough as nails, he'll get beaten up by NFL defensive backs
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round   CFN Position Rank:
35 98 3rd Round   Thomas DeCoud, FS California
More like a corner playing safety, the 6-1, 207-pound DeCoud is a good athlete who hits even bigger than his size. He doesn't make too many mistakes and is ultra-aggressive. While he's still learning the position after moving over from corner, he didn't do quite enough against the pass and he only had roughly a year to figure out what he's doing. Even so, his hitting ability along should make him a nice starter in time.
CFN Value Rank: Late Second Round to Early Third   CFN Position Rank:
3 138 5th Round   Robert James, OLB Arizona State
With safety athleticism and excellent pop, he's an intimidating player who can blow up a ball-carrier and he isn't afraid to get his uniform dirty. The big question is his durability. Banged up throughout his career, he finally broke through as a senior. He has the strength, but at only 5-11 and 225 pounds, he's purely a weakside prospect.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round     
CFN Position Rank: 24
19 154 5th Round (from trade)  Kory Biermann, LB Montana
Not fast enough to play on the outside and not big enough to play inside, he's a classic tweener linebacker who'll have a hard time finding a niche in a defense. Very strong, cranking out a lineman-like 29 reps at the Combine, he can play bigger than his 246-pound size. He won't do anything in pass coverage.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent      CFN Position Rank: NR
6 172 6th Round  Thomas Brown, RB Georgia
Sort of poor man's Mike Hart, Brown is the same size and has the same style as the former Michigan star but wasn't nearly as productive. Not a speed back, he's a quick, powerful runner who'll take a pounding and ask for more carries. He's not going to do anything flashy and he's not going to do anything on the outside, but he could be a nice fill-in for a series or two or a game or two and keep the running game moving.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round 
CFN Position Rank: 17
5 212 7th Round   Wilrey Fontenot, CB Arizona
The problem is his size, or lack of it. He has good speed, but he's only about 5-8 and didn't do well with good-sized receivers in college and won't be able to handle any NFL receiver bigger than six-feet. He plays bigger than his size against the run, but he'll only be used in nickel and dime packages.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent   CFN Position Rank: NR
25 232 7th Round  Keith Zinger, TE LSU
He's just a blocker; nothing more. At 6-3 and 270 pounds he could grow into a bigger third tackle in jumbo formations, but he also has decent enough hands to be used more on short passes than he was at LSU. He doesn't have the speed, running a painfully slow 5.11, to be a regular receiver.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent   CFN Position Rank: NR