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

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

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