2015 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

Travis KelceSep 1 03:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (ankle) would be able to play if the Chiefs had a game Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to head coach Andy Reid. Kelce is recovering from an ankle sprain.

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 03:03p

Carolina Panthers WRs Jarrett Boykin and De'Andre Presley were waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Jace AmaroSep 1 01:33p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (shoulder) will have season-ending shoulder surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Erik LorigSep 1 12:33p

New Orleans Saints FB Erik Lorig was cut Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Nathan PalmerSep 1 11:53a

Denver Broncos WR Nathan Palmer was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Devonta FreemanSep 1 11:32a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman was the most active in practice Monday, Aug. 31, that he was been since a hamstring injury Aug. 6. It's unclear whether he'll play [ More ]

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 10:33a

Carolina Panthers WR Jarrett Boykin was released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Jalen SaundersSep 1 09:13a

New Orleans Saints WR Jalen Saunders is being traded to the New England Patriots Tuesday, Sept. 1, for a conditional draft pick, according to a league source.

Caleb SturgisAug 31 11:32p

Miami Dolphins PK Caleb Sturgis remains the front runner in his competition with PK Andrew Franks. Sturgis said he did not have a good early camp, 'but I've been hitting the ball better lately.'

K. ThompkinsAug 31 07:52p

Oakland Raiders WR Kenbrell Thompkins was released Monday, Aug. 31, according to a source.

Trent RichardsonAug 31 07:22p

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson was released Monday, Aug. 31, according to a source.

Josh BoyceAug 31 06:42p

New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce and TE Jimmay Mundine were released Monday, Aug. 31.

E.J. GainesAug 31 05:52p

St. Louis Rams CB E.J. Gaines (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Aug. 31. WR Damian Williams was subsequently released.

Travis KelceAug 31 05:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (leg) left practice early Monday, Aug. 31, because of a right leg injury. Kelce was able to walk off the field but did not return to practice.

Brad SmelleyAug 31 05:32p

St. Louis Rams WR Tyler Slavin was waived and TE Brad Smelley (undisclosed) was waived/injured Monday, Aug. 31.

Julius ThomasAug 31 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Julius Thomas (finger) is expected to need surgery on a tendon in his finger and is expected to be out four to five weeks, according to [ More ]

Garrett HartleyAug 31 04:32p

Pittsburgh Steelers PK Garrett Hartley (hamstring) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Aug. 31.

Kevin NorwoodAug 31 04:32p

Seattle Seahawks WR Kevin Norwood was traded to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a conditional draft pick, according to a source.

Martavis BryantAug 31 04:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant's appeal of his suspension has been denied, and he will sit out the first four games of the regular season.

Phil BatesAug 31 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys WR Phil Bates was released Monday, Aug. 31.

Alan BonnerAug 31 03:12p

Houston Texans WRs Alan Bonner and Travis Labhart were released Monday, Aug. 31.

Joique BellAug 31 02:42p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') was activated from the Phyiscally Unable to Perform list Monday, Aug. 31.

DeVante ParkerAug 31 01:32p

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker (foot) said he is making progress in his recovery from foot surgery but would not say if he will be ready for the start of the regular season.

Kirk CousinsAug 31 12:52p

Updating an earlier report, Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins will be the starting quarterback moving forward, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden said 'it's Kirk's team.'

Victor CruzAug 31 12:22p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf, knee) still hasn't received clearance to practice Monday, Aug. 31. Cruz said that the inflammation has gone down and that the team [ More ]

Aldrick RobinsonAug 31 12:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR DeAndre Carter, WR Aldrick Robinson and WR Trent Steelman were cut Monday, Aug. 31.

Tyrod TaylorAug 31 11:42a

Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was named the starting quarterback Monday, Aug. 31, over QB Matt Cassel an QB EJ Manuel.

Devin FunchessAug 31 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess (hamstring) left practice Monday, Aug. 31, with hamstring tightness.

Jeremy StewartAug 31 10:52a

Denver Broncos QB Zac Dysert, TE Joe Don Duncan, TE Jake Murphy and RB Jeremy Stewart were waived Monday, Aug. 31. TE Jeff Heuerman (knee) was placed on Injured Reserve.

Josh ScobeeAug 31 10:42a

Jacksonville Jaguars PK Josh Scobee was acquired by the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday, Aug. 31.

Fred JacksonAug 31 10:42a

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson was released Monday, Aug. 31. He was slated to make $2.35 million this year and wasn't asked to take a pay cut.

Jalen ParmeleAug 31 10:22a

Cleveland Browns RB Jalen Parmele, TE Anthony Ezeakunne and WR Shane Wynn were cut Monday, Aug. 31.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group