2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons stay focused on defense in NFL draft

By GEORGE HENRY - Associated Press
    2013-04-27 15:11

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons kept their focus on defense Saturday, adding defensive ends Malliciah Goodman of Clemson and Stansly Maponga from TCU on the third day of the NFL draft.

After picking cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford in the first two rounds, the Falcons took Goodman in the fourth round and traded up 10 spots in the fifth round to select Maponga.

Atlanta also added Stanford tight end Levine Toilolo with a compensatory pick in the fourth round.

During the offseason, the Falcons released John Abraham, the NFL's active sacks leader, and cornerback Dunta Robinson in moves to relieve salary cap space. Cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Christopher Owens left as free agent.

Atlanta filled Abraham's job at right end by signing longtime New York Giants star Osi Umenyiora as a free agent, and the team re-signed strong safety William Moore, but after finishing 24th in total yards allowed, the Falcons wanted to create depth on defense.

Goodman (6-foot-4, 276 pounds) started the last two years at Clemson. He said that coach Mike Smith told him he will compete for the starting job at left end.

Sixth-year veteran Kroy Biermann took over at left end last November when high-priced Ray Edwards was surprisingly released. Biermann might retain the job, but he is valuable on special teams and has best helped the defense in past years with limited snaps.

Goodman and Maponga will join the depth chart at end alongside Jonathan Massaquoi, a fifth-round pick last year, and Cliff Matthews, a seventh-rounder in 2011, behind Umenyiora and Biermann.

At Clemson, Goodman learned his position under Da'Quan Bowers, a second-rounder in 2011 for Tampa Bay, and Andre Branch, a second-rounder for Jacksonville last year.

Goodman, who had seven sacks last season and whose eight career forced fumbles rank third in Clemson history, set a single-season school mark two years ago by playing 767 snaps in 14 games.

``It was a little rough from a legs point of view, but I managed through that and didn't have any injuries through that,'' Goodman said. ``I kept my body healthy and had a pretty productive year.''

To get Maponga, the Falcons swapped fifth-round spots with Chicago and sent the Bears a seventh-round pick.

Maponga said he's fully recovered from left foot surgery last month. The 6-foot-2, 256-pounder missed two of 11 games last season at TCU, finishing with four sacks and 6.5 tackles for negative yardage. He was named first-team All-Big 12.

``I visit the doctor on Monday, and he can let me know what's going on,'' Maponga said. ``I've been going through rehab, and my foot is in a brace. I'm just taking what I need to do to come back 10 times better. I do believe I will come back stronger than ever and ready.''

Maponga said that NFL scouts projected him as both an end and an outside linebacker, but the Falcons want him to play up front.

``I'm ready for that,'' he said. ``I'm ready to come in and show off my skills.''

The 6-foot-8, 260-pound Toilolo (pronounced Toy-lo-lo) was Atlanta's first offensive player of the draft. He will have a chance to be mentored by 13-time Pro Bowl selection Tony Gonzalez, who put off his retirement plans to return for the 2013 season.

Toilolo had 24 catches for 393 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. He had 10 career touchdown catches.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Eric DeckerSep 19 03:07p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19. Head coach Rex Ryan suggested that Decker would not have to practice to be [ More ]

Jamaal CharlesSep 19 03:05p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) was practicing with the team for the second straight day Friday, Sept. 19, after missing practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, with a high [ More ]

Josh GordonSep 19 03:02p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon's suspension has officially been reduced from 16 games to 10 games, according to the NFL and NFL Players Association.

Josh McCownSep 19 03:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) will start Week 4 if he is healthy enough to play, according to head coach Lovie Smith.

C. WhitehurstSep 19 03:02p

Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) was limited in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and is questionable for Week 3. QB Charlie Whitehurst (finger) and LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle) fully [ More ]

Colin ColeSep 19 02:52p

Carolina Panthers RB Fozzy Whittaker (thigh) is listed as doubtful for Week 3. WR Jason Avant (thigh) and WR Jerricho Cotchery (thigh) are listed as questionable, while OT Byron [ More ]

Keith RiversSep 19 02:52p

Buffalo Bills LB Randell Johnson (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 3. LB Keith Rivers (groin) was limited in [ More ]

Jordan CameronSep 19 02:42p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) will be a game-time decision in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens. Head coach Mike Pettine said he was 'cautiously optimistic' that Cameron [ More ]

Wes WelkerSep 19 02:42p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has practiced with the team all week and is ready to play in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks. He practiced in full [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 19 02:32p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) was limited during practice Friday, Sept. 19, and is listed as questionable for Week 3.

Todd HerremansSep 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) has been ruled out for Week 3. WR Josh Huff (shoulder) is listed as doubtful, OT Matt Tobin (ankle) and SS Earl Wolff [ More ]

DeSean JacksonSep 19 02:22p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder), who was limited in practice Friday, Sept. 19, didn't look 100 percent fluid in individual drills, but he was able to catch the [ More ]

Steve WeatherfordSep 19 02:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) and LB Devon Kennard (hamstring) both did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and have been ruled out for the team's [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Sep 19 02:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 3.

Ben TateSep 19 01:32p

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 3.

Josh McCownSep 19 01:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) is scheduled to have an MRI on a thumb injury Friday, Sept. 19. The belief is that the thumb is sprained.

DeSean JacksonSep 19 12:42p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Head coach Jay Gruden said Jackson made steps in a 'positive direction,' [ More ]

Jordan ReedSep 19 12:42p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) has been ruled out of Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

John AbrahamSep 19 12:32p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Sept. 19.

Jonathan DwyerSep 19 12:22p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer, who was charged in a domestic violence case involving his wife and young son, may not return to the team unless he's exonerated from [ More ]

Josh McCownSep 19 12:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) doesn't yet have a defined timetable to return, head coach Lovie Smith said. Smith also didn't address whether QB Mike Glennon would [ More ]

Paul KrugerSep 19 11:42a

Cleveland Browns LB Paul Kruger has two sacks, eight tackles (three for a loss) and a pass defensed. He's having a breakthrough in the new system designed by head [ More ]

A.J. GreenSep 19 10:52a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) said he feels good Friday, Sept. 19, and is ready to play in Week 3.

Shaun HillSep 19 09:42a

St. Louis Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) will be a game-time decision in Week 3.

Cam NewtonSep 19 09:32a

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ribs, ankle) is unlikely to be 100 percent the rest of the season. He experiences pain the night after the games and receives treatment [ More ]

Julio JonesSep 19 09:12a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones, who was probable entering Week 3 of the NFL season, hauled in nine catches for 161 yards and scored twice in a 56-14 win [ More ]

Bobby RaineySep 19 09:02a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, starting in place of injured RB Doug Martin (knee), led the team with seven catches for 64 yards Thursday, Sept. 18, against the [ More ]

Josh McCownSep 19 03:22a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said it is too soon to tell how long QB Josh McCown (thumb) may be out following his thumb injury suffered Thursday, Sept. [ More ]

Shelby HarrisSep 19 02:32a

Although the Oakland Raiders waived DE Shelby Harris, the team may still re-sign him back to the practice squad.

Emmanuel AchoSep 19 12:42a

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) is considered very doubtful for the team's Week 3 game, according to head coach Chip Kelly. LB Emmanuel Acho likely would start at [ More ]

Derek CoxSep 19 12:32a

The Chicago Bears worked out free-agent WR Damian Williams (Dolphins), WR Kyle Williams (Chiefs), CB Derek Cox (Ravens) and CB Brandon Ghee (Chargers) this week.

LaMichael JamesSep 18 11:32p

The Miami Dolphins have expressed interest in free-agent RB LaMichael James (49ers) and it is believed that he has some interest in the team. James is expected to take [ More ]

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