Riveting stuff coming out of Mel Kiper on Wednesday, as he re-graded the Atlanta Falcons' 2011 draft class. Was Julio Jones really worth all of those draft picks? What about the rest of the draft class? Find out more after the jump.
Here is Mel Kiper's take on the Falcons' draft haul for 2011 with the season now over:
Post-draft grade: C+
Summary: Give the Falcons some credit -- Thomas Dimitroff took a major gamble in giving up picks, including the Falcons' first pick in the 2012 draft, to move up and take Julio Jones. They took a shot because they desperately needed a vertical threat outside of Roddy White. That risk on Jones wasn't because of ability -- Jones has big-time talent -- but because taking wide receivers so high has been a 50-50 proposition. Jones looked the part of a current and future star, though, with nearly 1,000 yards receiving this season and numerous big plays. They went for a home run, and I think you'd have to say they hit it. I was concerned that the defensive end need wasn't addressed, but the signing of Ray Edwards mitigated that.Jacquizz Rodgers became a bigger part of the offense down the stretch and could play an even bigger role in 2012. Matt Bosher was OK, at 19th in the NFL in net average per punt. A good draft overall, given the gamble, but not among the best considering the steep cost.
New grade: B
As much as the Julio Jones draft can be considered a home run, its hard for me to say that this draft is a B grade. I'm probably one of the biggest fans of The Quizz Show there is, but right now he's only a 3rd-round back. Plus, if you're drafting a punter in the 6th-round (at all) then I'd expect him to rank higher than 19th, especially when I could sign one as a free-agent instead.
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