2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Atlanta adds fullback, depth on defense in draft

By GEORGE HENRY - Associated Press
    2012-04-28 16:55

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons fleshed out their draft Saturday by picking a potential successor to fullback Ovie Mughelli and adding depth to their defense.

Bradie Ewing, a fifth-round pick from Wisconsin, could replace Mughelli as the starting fullback. The Falcons could decide to release Mughelli, a respected team leader and nine-year veteran, to create room under the NFL salary cap.

Seven spots after picking Ewing, Atlanta added Troy pass rusher Jonathan Massaquoi in the fifth round. The Falcons chose Mississippi State strong safety Charles Mitchell in the middle of the sixth.

Mughelli was named to the Pro Bowl two years ago, but his 2011 season ended with a Week 7 knee injury. Despite the many roles he plays on Atlanta's special teams, Mughelli could become expendable because Ewing played a similar role at Wisconsin.

After walking on at Wisconsin, Ewing became an offensive captain as a senior and contributed heavily to the Badgers' coverage and return units on special teams.

According to information released by the university, Ewing's blocks resulted in 30 touchdowns last season. He caught all 28 passes targeted to him in his four-year career. He was a Wisconsin teammate of Peter Konz, an offensive lineman drafted by Atlanta in the second round Friday.

``Obviously, drafting me as a fullback, I can block, I can catch, I can split out as a receiver,'' Ewing said. ``I think it's my versatility and I'm just excited to get down there.''

Massaquoi, a cousin of Cleveland Browns receiver and former Georgia standout Mohamed Massaquoi, left Troy after his junior year. He started 25 games and finished his Trojans career with 19.5 sacks.

When Atlanta begins its mandatory, three-day mini-camp June 19, Massaquoi will work behind starting ends John Abraham and Ray Edwards and compete for snaps with Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury.

Massaquoi grew up as a Falcons fan in the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville, where he played at Central Gwinnett High School. He spent the 2008 season at Butler (Kan.) Community College, helping the school win a junior college national title.

``I have a non-stop motor,'' he said. ``I want to get to that ball no matter the depths of the field, and I believe the Atlanta Falcons see my relentless spirit and how bad I want to get to the quarterback.''

Massaquoi hopes to follow in the footsteps of other former Troy standouts that became NFL stars.

``With them producing Osi Umenyiora, DeMarcus Ware and now me, hopefully I can be put into that conversation of our powerful tradition,'' Massaquoi said. ``Only time will tell.''

The Falcons, who will work under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan this season, upgraded their secondary Wednesday by trading for cornerback Asante Samuel.

The only starter not returning from last year's defense is middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who signed with New Orleans.

Mitchell, who graduated in December, played in all 50 games of his career and was a senior team captain with Mississippi State. He likely will compete with reserve safety Shann Schillinger for a roster spot, but must show Atlanta coaches that he can contribute heavily on special teams.

Mitchell credits his success at safety with understanding how to watch film and break down opponents' strengths and weaknesses.

``I'm a pretty physical guy,'' he said. ``I pride myself on making tackles and I always try to be around the ball.''

Atlanta's defense finished 18th in points allowed and 20th in total yards last season.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:33a

Buffalo Bills QBs Jeff Tuel and Thaddeus Lewis are alternating series with the second unit in team drills Tuesday, July 22.

Tyler BrayJul 22 09:13a

Kansas City Chiefs QBs Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel are likely to compete for one roster spot with QB Aaron Murray likely to make the team behind starting QB Alex Smith.

Navorro BowmanJul 22 12:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will likely return to action in Week 9 after the team's Week 8 bye, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Jacques McClendonJul 21 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars OG Jacques McClendon is the frontrunner to start at right guard heading into training camp, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. OG Brandon Linder is the other candidate for the starting job.

Aaron ColvinJul 21 10:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Aaron Colvin (knee) will begin training camp and the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate [ More ]

Jeromy MilesJul 21 10:03p

Baltimore Ravens S Jeromy Miles has seen some reps with the first-team defense this offseason and is a dark horse candidate to win the starting free safety job, according to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley.

Brandon MosleyJul 21 09:43p

New York Giants OT Brandon Mosley will be given the first chance to start in place of OG Chris Snee when the first-team offensive line takes the field Tuesday, [ More ]

T.J. GrahamJul 21 09:23p

Buffalo Bills WR T.J. Graham had a pass fall through his hands after beating his defender on a deep route in camp Monday, July 21.ESPN.com's Mike Rodak believes Graham [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsJul 21 09:02p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins made several big plays in practice Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. Watkins beat CB Leodis McKelvin deep, hauled in a pass [ More ]

Marvin JonesJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder), WR Marvin Jones (ankle) and CB Onterio McCalebb (knee) have been placed on the Non-Football Injury list.

Devon StillJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Clint Boling (knee), LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring), P Kevin Huber (neck), WR Colin Lockett (hamstring), DT Zach Minter (back), DT Devon Still (back) and WR Ryan [ More ]

Cordy GlennJul 21 06:53p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) does not have a timetable for his return at this point, according to head coach Doug Marrone. 'I don't know that. It's a [ More ]

Mike CaussinJul 21 06:43p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent TE Mike Caussin (Bills). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived LS Kyle Nelson.

Cheta OzougwuJul 21 06:32p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) and DT John Jenkins (pectoral) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Brennan WilliamsJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans OT Brennan Williams (undisclosed) has been waived with a failed physical designation.

Brian CushingJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans DT Louis Nix (undisclosed), LB Brian Cushing (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Eric HaggJul 21 06:13p

Denver Broncos SS Eric Hagg has informed the team that he has decided to retire from professional football.

Dominique EasleyJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots DT Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and OT Chris Martin have been placed on the team's non-football injury list.

Alfonzo DennardJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), WR Aaron Dobson (foot), WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed), DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and WR Matthew Slater (undisclosed) will begin training camp on [ More ]

Leon HallJul 21 05:12p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and CB Leon Hall (Achilles') will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

Jon BeasonJul 21 05:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

John JerryJul 21 05:02p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (leg), OG John Jerry (knee) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) will be limited when training camp starts.

Kraig UrbikJul 21 04:33p

Buffalo Bills OT Chris Hairston and OG Kraig Urbik saw first-team repetitions at right guard Monday, July 21.

Dezmon BriscoeJul 21 04:03p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent WR Dezmon Briscoe (Redskins), according to his agent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phillip HuntJul 21 03:12p

Former Philadelphia Eagles DE Phillip Hunt (knee) has recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and should begin workouts with teams in the near future.

Chris ConteJul 21 02:12p

Chicago Bears FS Chris Conte said he feels good as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but is unsure of his availability for the start of training camp. He could [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuJul 21 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals DT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) and FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) are candidates to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

David WilsonJul 21 01:42p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) should be able to help the offense if he is able to stay healthy this upcoming season, according to former offensive coordinator [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 21 01:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OG Chris Snee has officially announced his retirement from professional football.

Garrett CelekJul 21 01:22p

San Francisco 49ers TEs Derek Carrier and Garrett Celek will compete for the No. 3 tight end spot during training camp.

De'Anthony ThomasJul 21 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB De'Anthony Thomas spent most of his time with the running backs during practice Monday, July 21. Thomas run a lot of passing routes out of [ More ]

Christopher OwensJul 21 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee), WR Kyle Williams (knee), WR A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (hamstring) participated in practice Monday, July 21.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group