The Atlanta Falcons have less draft assets to work with than most other NFL franchises as a result of the Julio Jones trade from the 2011 draft, but they’re still doing their homework on mid-round guys who could pay major dividends. Small school cornerback Trumaine Johnson from Montana is one such player who Aaron Wilson reports that the Falcons have worked out privately for the 2012 NFL Draft.
Several other teams are reportedly in on Johnson, who is considered one of the top small school prospects available. Wilson names the Eagles, Bears, Jets and Bengals among others. However, the Falcons history with Montana players might make a difference, writes Len Pasquarelli:
The people who suggest that a team likes guys from certain colleges probably read too much into coincidental preferences. That said, no one should overlook the visit that Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson made to Atlanta recently. The Falcons have had some success with Montana players (Shann Schillinger, Kroy Biermann) in recent years but, far more important, like Johnson and his size.
Wes Bunting of the National Football Post compares him to Baltimore Ravens corner Jimmy Smith and has him as the No. 11 corner in the draft. He writes:
A talented kid who physically/athletic reminds me a lot of Jimmy Smith (Baltimore Ravens). Now, he’s not as experienced as a pressman as Smith was, but has the same type of upside and can be a similar player if he commits himself fully to the game at the next.
Mel Kiper had Johnson going in the second round to the Lions at No. 54 in his most recent mock. That’s one slot before the Falcons will pick for the first time.
For more on the Atlanta Falcons and the upcoming NFL Draft, head to The Falcoholic.