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2011 Falcons Draft Picks: Andrew Jackson Continues Trench Depth Project

One of Thomas Dimitroff's defining traits has been his commitment to keeping the Atlanta Falcons well-stocked on both lines of scrimmage. In each of his four drafts, he's picked at least one OL and DL -- that didn't happen here in 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002 or 2000, so it's definitely a break from recent tradition. He's made a habit of picking versatile, smart linemen as well -- enter Fresno St. Bulldogs OG Andrew Jackson.

What they're saying: Best value pick in the 7th round.

Best case: Competes with Mike Johnson to one day take over for either Justin Blalock or Harvey Dahl.

Worst case: Never develops NFL footwork. Can't stay healthy.

Highlights, stats, videos, background and stuff: Jackson was a three-time WAC All-Academic and first-team Academic All-American, so he might be just about the smartest players on the roster already. At six-foot-six he's got the frame to grow, but he's already gotten strong without sacrificing quickness. He's supposed to be an effective run blocker, but the main concern about him seems to be his pass-blocking footwork.

Why'd he slip? Injury concerns -- at various points in his final two seasons, he missed time due to ankle, knee and back injuries.

As he's an offensive lineman, he doesn't have many stats for us to stare at, but here's an odd one: he blocked three kicks in his special teams career. You have to be a pretty good athlete to block multiple kicks; befitting his agility, his best drill at the NFL Combine was the 3 cone, at which he finished 10th among all OL:


40 Yard Dash Bench Press Vert Jump Broad Jump 3 Cone Drill 20 Yard Shutte 60 Yard Shuttle


5.38 25 28 98 7.55 4.65

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.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.