The list of 2011 undrafted free agents isn't going to get any shorter any time soon, as no team can make a move until the NFL lockout ends. So the NFL Draft's leftovers are stuck waiting, but that doesn't mean teams can't plan out which players they'd like to have a shot at. Here's my best guess at a list of players the Atlanta Falcons might be thinking about:
RB Noel Devine, West Virginia: The theme of the draft was explosiveness, based on every interview Falcons brass has given since the offseason began. Here we have a short crate of dynamite, capable of lining up anywhere on the field and raising utter hell -- in 2009 he produced a gaudy 1,642 yards from scrimmage. Devine survived a heartbreaking childhood and lived to tell about it. Literally -- he spends his free time counseling New Orleans kids. He's still mentored by Falcons legend Deion Sanders despite taking advantage of Prime a few years ago. Openly trying to sell you on Noel Devine in Atlanta, rocky background and all. I'm done for now, though, I promise. Devine has been bench pressing more than double his body weight for years. OK, done. I swear. Skipped the Draft to return for his senior year. OK!
DL Pierre Allen, Nebraska: Pierre Allen, will you play any position in our entire front seven? Why yes, I'd be happy to. We know the Falcons are still in the market for a pass rusher, as Thomas Dimitroff sort of admitted Saturday night. Here's one that Rob Rang called a mid-round pick who had 13 career sacks. What's holding him back? Injury concerns.
RB John Clay, Wisconsin: The team added its change-of-pace back in Jacquizz Rodgers, likely finalizing the exit of Jerious Norwood. Now how will they cover for Jason Snelling's potential exit? While Rodgers is much more Snelling than he is Michael Turner when it comes to versatility, it would still be nice to have another hammer around. He suffered a MCL late in 2010 and had trouble with his grades early on, however.
DB Joe Lefeged, Rutgers: Mel Kiper's top-rated UDFA is a 210-pounder who ran a 4.42 Combine 40-yard dash and finished as a Thorpe Award semifinalist. He holds the Scarlet Knights career kickoff returns record, too. He was projected as high as the fourth round -- for a team that just lost a backup safety, Lefeged might be a good option.
QB Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin, or Pat Devlin, Delaware: Do you think the Falcons need to start working on a third-string QB, with the impending (at some point) retirement of Chris Redman? Both of these passers are mind-bendingly safe -- Devlin's TD/INT ratio as a senior was 22/3, in addition to a 4/0 showing in camoes as a Penn State backup. Tolzien completed over 74 percent of his passes as a senior, a school record, while playing in a power running offense not entirely dissimilar to Atlanta's.
TE Zach Pianalto, UNC: The draft's top-rated remaining tight end who wasn't suspended for the entire 2010 season a la Weslye Saunders (that's good!), Pianalto still suffered two major injuries and missed most of 2010 with a broken right leg. Still, if the team wants to stack up bodies at the position in advance of Tony Gonzalez' exit, the rare un-suspended Tar Heel might be worth a flyer.
TE Charlie Gantt, Michigan State: Again, I'm not as sold on the Falcons desperately needing a TE as others are, but they might bring one in to camp just to shut everybody up. Would not blame them. Reading up on Gantt, he sounds like the most Big Ten player in America -- steady but never flashy. You might remember him as the guy who caught Sparty's fake field goal to beat Notre Dame.
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.