TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 09: Runningback Jacquizz Rodgers #1 of the Oregon State Beavers reacts after a 6 yard rush during the fourth quarter of the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

NFL Draft: Jacquizz Rogers, Cliff Matthews Among Final Falcons Picks

The Atlanta Falcons wrapped up their 2011 NFL Draft late Saturday, though the Round 1 trade for Julio Jones will remain the biggest story.

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2011 NFL Draft Results: Grading NFC South Classes By Mockability

Draft grades are meaningless, but ridicule isn't.

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Mel Kiper's 2011 Draft Grades Bury Falcons Among Worst 10 Classes

Mel Kiper has published his 2011 NFL Draft grades, and let's just say he's not in love with the Atlanta Falcons' trade for Julio Jones -- the team gets a C+, better than just four franchises. While he likes Jacquizz Rodgers and Akeem Dent in Atlanta's systems, he worries about Jones' durability and the "extraordinary value" the Falcons gave up in acquiring him:

Let's face it, the Falcons are counting on Jones to be really good, really soon. They gave a boatload of high-value picks for him, and you get a sense that this a team that really views the immediate future as a title window it needs to pursue.

The only teams graded worse than Atlanta: the Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks. The five best? The Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals, San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns. Ranking near the bottom of the upper half is the other NFC South squad: the New Orleans Saints.

For more on the NFL Draft, join Mocking The Draft and browse SB Nation's 2011 NFL Draft hub. More local NFL Draft resources: live discussion of Falcons picks at The Falcoholic; coverage of the Falcons and NFC South for rounds one, two and three and rounds four through seven; final conference tallies for the SEC and ACC; and pre-Draft coverage of the Falcons and SEC and ACC prospects.

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NFL Draft Grades 2011: Falcons Judged By Pete Prisco, Rob Rang And More

At one point Saturday night, the front page of Yahoo! Sports' website had a poll on the biggest surprise in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Atlanta Falcons' trade for Julio Jones was topping everything else after 20,000 votes, so it's safe to say the experts are going to have some opinions and analysis of Atlanta's 2011 draft class. To the draft grades!

While the class also includes Akeem Dent, Jacquizz Rodgers, Matt Bosher, Andrew Jackson and Cliff Matthews, most are focusing on that blockbuster Jones deal. CBS Sports' Pete Prisco gives Atlanta a B-, approving of the Dent and Rodgers picks, but says:

It's all about Jones here. Thomas Dimitroff made a risky move to help his passing game. If it pays off, as in a Super Bowl, he wins. If not, the criticism will come.    

USA Today's Nate Davis lists the Cleveland Browns among his winners for their trade with the Falcons, which certainly doesn't say much for his estimation of Atlanta's draft, right? Walter Football grades each pick on an individual basis, thinking very highly of Rodgers, Jackson and Matthews but raging at the selection of a punter and throwing up its hands over Jones.

Yahoo! Sports' Rob Rang also gives Atlanta a B-, delighting in Rodgers but worrying the Falcons addressed the wrong shortcoming:

The Falcons feature arguably the league's best wide receiver already in Roddy White. That means that Jones - at best - will serve as the Falcons' No. 2 receiver. Giving up five draft picks, including two first-round picks, for a No. 2 receiver is too much.    

Sports Illustrated's Don Banks says Atlanta is going to be "tougher to defend" -- whether it's tough enough to justify the haul given up for Jones remains to be seen.

And for what it's worth, Mocking The Draft doesn't list the Falcons among its winners or losers. All right!

For more on the NFL Draft, join Mocking The Draft and browse SB Nation's 2011 NFL Draft hub. More local NFL Draft resources: live discussion of Falcons picks at The Falcoholic; coverage of the Falcons and NFC South for rounds one, two and three and rounds four through seven; final conference tallies for the SEC and ACC; and pre-Draft coverage of the Falcons and SEC and ACC prospects.

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Atlanta Falcons Draft Picks: Cliff Matthews Completes Surprising 2011 Class

The Atlanta Falcons' 2011 NFL Draft haul is (probably!) done with, now that the team has selected Cliff Matthews at No. 230 in the seventh round. The South Carolina Gamecocks DE sounds like an excellent value to me*. The team captain was not the best athlete, but is productive and goes hard on every play, and every team needs defensive line depth. Besides, playing behind fellow Sakerlinan John Abraham has got to be a good sign for his development, right?

This will go down as a draft set up to include multiple immediate-impact guys. The trade for Alabama Crimson Tide WR Julio Jones is the make-or-breaker, but Oregon St. Beavers RB Jacquizz Rodgers and Miami Hurricanes legman-of-some-sort Matt Bosher will also be game-one contributors. Georgia Bulldogs LB Akeem Dent is likely to play at least special teams early, with an eventual takeover for Stephen Nicholas or Mike Peterson certainly possible.

Among the two final-round depth picks, Fresno St. Bulldogs OG Andrew Jackson looks like Atlanta's biggest steal. Nimble in both foot and mind, he was expected to be gone by the middle rounds, but Thomas Dimitroff landed him in the seventh. 

After years of drafting to build, Atlanta's definitely made a statement that it's time to win now. Even if Jones goes down as a bust, this draft could still be a success -- though of course the effect of the Jones trade on next year's draft could stunt Atlanta's postseason chances for years.

* Full disclosure: I've been lobbying for Matthews in The Falcoholic's war room for at least an hour now.

We have more on the Falcons' first three rounds and on how SEC and ACC players fared in the first three rounds. For national coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL Draft hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons draft discussion, join The Falcoholic.

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2011 NFL Draft: Falcons Pick Andrew Jackson, Hope For Battle Of New Orleans Repeat

Andrew Jackson, no Trail of Tears, will work to provide the Atlanta Falcons some offensive line depth, having been picked No. 210 in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft. The six-foot-five Fresno State 299-pounder projects as a NFL guard, a position at which the Falcons are set for the time being, assuming they're able to bring back either Harvey Dahl or Justin Blalock as starters.

He's quick and a good run blocker, but may not develop the strength to be a top starter. His footwork game needs some good coaching, but he plays with vigor.

The Falcons have one pick remaining, and there's absolutely no telling where they go this time. Defensive back? Defensive line?

We have more on the Falcons' first three rounds and on how SEC and ACC players fared in the first three rounds. For national coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL Draft hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons draft discussion, join The Falcoholic.

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NFL Draft 2011: Falcons Pick Matt Bosher, Who Is A Punter

You were not entirely aware the Atlanta Falcons needed a new punter, but there you have it: with pick No. 192, they've selected Miami Hurricanes kicker Matt Bosher. He has a strong leg, averaging 44 yards per kick, which ranked him ... No. 21 in the NCAA last year. Sort of puzzled about the choice of punter, so we'll have to wait and see on this one.

Michael Koenen, who may require a bigger raise than the team is willing to spend, has been Atlanta's punter for six years now, as of late also functioning as the team's kickoff man. With the 2011 rule changes that will move the kickoff tee five yards closer to the end zone, Koenen's dual-role value decreases. Then again, Bosher is a versatile kicker as well, having handled both kicking and punting at Miami.

Hard to imagine he's being drafted to compete for the placekicking job, as his field goal accuracy decreased in all three of his college seasons. The team needed a new punter, I suppose, and now it has one. #analysis.

We have more on the Falcons' first three rounds and on how SEC and ACC players fared in the first three rounds. For national coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL Draft hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons draft discussion, join The Falcoholic.

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2011 NFL Draft Results, Round Five: Kealoha Pilares, Ahmad Black Join Jacquizz Rogers In NFC South

Go here for complete results from round five of the 2011 NFL Draft, but let's stick around and talk about the NFC South. It hasn't been a voluminous draft for the division, with only five players going through the first two rounds Saturday.

The Carolina Panthers added WR Kealoha Pilares, a quick Hawaii Warriors slot guy who's attempting to come back from an injury. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked up in-state talent Ahmad Black, the Florida Gators strong safety who's heard concerns about his size and strength, but is a capable athlete and smart player.

The Atlanta Falcons made the biggest splash in the round, trading up to get Oregon St. Beavers RB Jacquizz Rodgers.

We have more on the Falcons' first three rounds and on how SEC and ACC players fared in the first three rounds. For national coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL Draft hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons draft discussion, join The Falcoholic.

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Falcons Trade Up Again, Pick Jacquizz Rodgers In 2011 NFL Draft Fifth Round

The Atlanta Falcons just completed their second trade in the 2011 NFL Draft, though this one was admittedly much less panic-inducing than the Julio Jones blockbuster. The Birds gave up their second-to-last seventh-round pick to the St. Louis Rams, setting up a pick of Oregon St. Beavers RB Jacquizz Rodgers, a five-foot-six ... /searches for term ... fire plug! That'll do.

He's quick, versatile and productive, but doesn't have the top speed you'd expect from such a compact guy. At 196 pounds, however, he's far more imposing than the average multi-tool back.

In three years as a starter at OSU, Rogers compiled at least 250 yards receiving and 1,100 yards rushing every season and even threw for a couple touchdowns. A sharp route runner, he averaged over eight yards per catch his freshman year. His pass blocking will need work to become anywhere near as good as fellow little guy Warrick Dunn's was, but he should provide an acceptable change of pace from Michael Turner, Jason Snelling and Ovie Mughelli -- let's say he's about as traditional of a speed back as we're going to get during the coinciding Mikes Smith and Mularkey eras.

We have more on the Falcons' first three rounds and on how SEC and ACC players fared in the first three rounds. For national coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL Draft hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons draft discussion, join The Falcoholic.

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NFL Draft Results: Fourth Round Sees Luke Stocker, Brandon Hogan Join NFC South

The NFC South only picks in odd rounds in the 2011 NFL Draft. After picking just one total player in the second, the division only had a pair of picks in the fourth. If you have any relevant NASCAR or Civil War jokes, please feel free to loose them in the comments here -- for those of you who care about more than just the NFC South for some reason, visit SB Nation's NFL Draft hub for notes on every pick.

The Carolina Panthers added DB Brandon Hogan from the West Virginia Mountaineers, a five-foot-ten athlete whose hands will inspire some announcer to trot out the "that's why he plays defense!" line and who has had a tough time staying out of trouble.

TE Luke Stocker went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving them two big, fast tight ends, counting Kellen Winslow. Stocker showed up well at the 2011 NFL Combine and could be the best tight end in this entire draft class.

With the No. 27 pick that the Falcons gave up, the Browns picked Stanford FB/LB and future Madden cover player Owen Marecic.

We have more on the Falcons' first three rounds and on how SEC and ACC players fared in the first three rounds. For national coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL Draft hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons draft discussion, join The Falcoholic.

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NFL Draft Grades Have Saints Outshining Falcons Through Three Rounds

With three 2011 NFL Draft rounds through, the idea of grading each team's draft seems a little more worthwhile than it did after just one. The NFC South's grades are all over the map -- SBNation.com's Brian Galliford gives the Atlanta Falcons a B-, the New Orleans Saints an A, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a B+ and the Carolina Panthers, who started off the whole thing, a C+.

Your reaction to the Falcons' round one selection of Julio Jones will determine pretty much your entire sentiment about the team's 2011 class. ESPN's Pat Yasinkas, like a panel of my associates whom I polled, agreed that Jones is an incredible talent, but that the Falcons took a big risk in going for him. A number of national writers love the pick, while Falcons fans were floored by the pick but have started to right themselves.   

We have more on the Falcons' first three rounds and on how SEC and ACC players fared in the first three rounds. For national coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL Draft hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons draft discussion, join The Falcoholic.

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2011 NFL Draft Final Rounds: Order, TV Schedule, Remaining Players And More

The last four rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft begin at noon ET on April 30, televised for the long haul by ESPN and NFL Network. You can find the complete draft order for rounds four through seven here, lists of the 10 or 20 best available players at each position here, and complete NFL Draft coverage here.

The Atlanta Falcons, having selected Alabama WR Julio Jones and Georgia LB Akeem Dent, have five picks remaining -- Nos. 158, 192, 210, 229 adnd 230. They'll be able to trade around if they like, though a bettin' individual would have them picking some combination of RB, DE, OL and DB.

 After a long three rounds that saw the Falcons pick just once, it's finally time for Atlanta to go to work. Well, once we get through round four, at least.

We have more on the Falcons' first three rounds and on how SEC and ACC players fared in the first three rounds. For national coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL Draft hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons draft discussion, join The Falcoholic.

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