Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame. [Full profile]
Playing the role of general manager for the Atlanta Falcons is 'pataroons.' Here is his rationale for the selection of Rudolph:
In 2010, the Atlanta Falcons put together an impressive campaign that saw them finish the regular season 13-3, the best record in the NFC. It's clear that the Falcons are the real deal, and legitimate Superbowl contenders heading into the alleged 2011 NFL season. However, despite last years success, their top-tier defense, the franchise QB and a 2010 offensive squad that was 5th in the league in points scored, something is missing from this team that will prevent them from ever bringing Atlanta to the promised land. In a league dominated by the Big Play, the Falcons just can't seem to keep up.
In 2010 the Falcons were 31st in offensive plays of 20 yards or more, and 26th in average yards per play. Despite this glaring hole in the offense, most 'draft experts' consider their most pressing needs to be Offensive Tackle, Cornerback and perhaps most importantly, Defensive End. So far in this mock draft, six defensive ends are already off the board. If the draft were to actually unfold like this, that would be the most defensive ends ever taken in the first round of an NFL draft (and we are only on pick 27). Many mock drafts have OLB Justin Houston tied to Atlanta (whom some scouts project as a 4-3 DE), and the Falcons have reportedly planned a workout with him. However, after the Baltimore Ravens snagged the 270-pound sack machine, it became clear I am going to have to look in a different direction with this pick.
My strategy here, since I am the GM and I can do whatever I want, is to draft a player who will address their need for an explosive offensive weapon. I know, I know, I'm committing the cardinal sin of drafting based on need, and not on best player available. This is my compromise of the two methods, a strategy I'd like to call drafting the 'Best Playmaker Available' (patent pending).
Which brings me to my selection for the 27th pick of the BBV Community Mock Draft - Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph.
The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Cincinnati native is the consensus top prospect for his position, and may even be the only tight end taken in the first few rounds of the draft. Realistically, this may be a bit too early for a TE with injury concerns to be drafted, but with Tony Gonzalez a day older and a step slower, it'd be hard to pass on the opportunity to grab Matt Ryan another weapon for his arsenal- a TE who runs like a wide receiver and who can stretch the field vertically. Considering Rudolph will most certainly be gone by the second round, I would have absolutely no reservations in securing his services for my Atlanta squad.
My take: I love this player, so I find it virtually impossible to argue with this pick. Gonzalez is a Hall of Fame tight end, but he can't do it forever and the Falcons can use more weapons for Ryan. The Falcons could also go for an offensive lineman like Derek Sherrod of Mississippi State. Defensive end and cornerback are other Atlanta needs, but I'm not sure there is value at those spots right now.
-- We have made a trade at No. 28. No, not that kind of trade. My son is bowing out of making the next three picks for New England. So, making the 28th pick is 'DManInBLUE.' The Patriots are now on the clock.
|19||N.Y. Giants||Akeem Ayers
||The Blood Of Eli
|29||Chicago||You're my boy, Blue|
New York Jets
|48||Oakland||G Fan In England
|52||N.Y. Giants||Ed Valentine|
||The Blood Of Eli|
||You're my boy, Blue|