Well, it seems the lightning pace of this offseason is moving even faster than I thought. While undrafted free agents cannot sign with teams until 10AM Tuesday, the Falcons are among the teams already busy negotiating contracts with some of these undrafted rookies. Two of the names confirmed to have signed with the Falcons thus far are RB Noel Devine and DE Ryan Winterswyk.
Devine, a 5-foot-7 speedster out of West Virginia, was considered one of the top offensive UFAs available because of his quickness and receiving skills. Winterswyk is also a very interesting case in that he is reportedly being converted to tight end. With both of those players now Falcons, here's a quick look at who else could join the team's ranks in the next couple of days.
Adam Froman- Froman is an interesting prospect in that he has good physical tools, surprising quickness and mobility in the pocket. He's raw and has only one year of experience in a pro offense, but his size (6'4, 220) and speed definitely makes signing him worth the shot.
Scott Tolzien- Leader of the hard-nosed Wisconsin offense, Tolzien is much like current Falcons third-stringer John Parker Wilson in that he basically has a noodle arm. However, much like Wilson he is an accurate short-range passer who makes good decisions and isn't careless with the football. (Tolzien will reportedly sign with the Colts.)
Mike Hartline- He's 6-foot-5, 210 with a strong arm, but the mechanics are simply not very good at all. Still, put him around the right coach and he has the potential to develop into something.
Mario Fannin- With the possibility of Turner being the only power/short-yardage back on the roster, Fannin makes sense because he is an ideal goal-line specialist. He's a high-effort player known for his blocking prowess, but speed and fumbles have always been an issue. (Fannin will reportedly sign with the Broncos.)
John Clay- While Fannin is the overall better running back, Clay is just plain big (6-foot-1, 248 lbs). He's got good power, field vision, but like Fannin lacks any sort of speed. Still, with his size he likely has the versatility to potentially play at fullback or tight end. (Clay will reportedly sign with the Steelers.)
Terrance Toliver- The Falcons have plenty of young receivers to compete in training camp, but this 6-foot-4, 212-pounder out of LSU is likely the best one still on the proverbial board.
Ray Dominguez- Just like fellow Arkansas alum Jose Valdez, Dominguez is a big-bodied guard (6-foot-3, 334 lbs.) who was consistently on the field for the Razorbacks. His main strength is the running game, but he also has the quickness and versatility to play at tackle, two things the Falcons love in their O-linemen.
Martin Parker- Mike Smith loves his D-linemen, and Parker could easily work his way to a roster spot and contribute to the Falcons' rotation. Out of small-school Richmond, he sort of flew under the radar with the draft being so deep at defensive tackle, but has the potential to develop into a great complementary piece to a defense.
Ted Laurent- Laurent played nose tackle at Ole Miss, but likely isn't big enough to stay there in the NFL. The Falcons could certainly take a flier on him and see if he could work his way into the rotation as well. Injuries have been a concern, however, so he'll have to show he's healthy.
Mark Herzlich- The Boston College star who famously overcame bone cancer has likely earned the attention of just about every team in the league. Monday night, he shot down a report that he'd already signed with Baltimore. Considering the Falcons could lose Stephen Nicholas, bringing on Herzlich to compete with Akeem Dent could be a wise move.
Deunta Williams- This is amazing, because if the Falcons sign Williams they could actually have two Duntas (Deuntas?) in their secondary. On a more serious note, safety is one position at which the Falcons need more depth. The converted WR and current safety Williams could provide that depth. He has great hands, coverage skills, but most of all is recognized as an intelligent, instinctive safety.
Still, with such an abbreviated offseason all of these rookies will have a tough time trying to impress coaches just to make the roster. Now, apparently John Abraham is making it a little bit tougher for them:
@johnabraham55 I'm putting it out here right now the first dumb a** rookie that try me better be ready to gt his a** kick don't try to make the team on me buddy
Don't do it Abe, it's not worth it!