While yesterday's TV coverage of the combine almost certainly centered around the quarterback workouts and Robert Griffin III's 40 time, none of that matters to the Falcons.
As I've already said, excluding tight end the offensive skill positions should be pretty far down Thomas Dimitroff's offseason checklist. But, what will end up being very important for Falcons fans to watch out for are the defensive linemen, who are set to finish their on-field drills and workouts today.
Why? Well if the Falcons do not sign a free agent defensive end after presumably letting John Abraham walk away, they'll almost certainly draft one with one of the team's first two picks. Now, onto the actual results, and a few guys to watch out for going forward:
Defensive Linemen Combine Results:
Vinny Curry, Marshall- Curry is widely considered a sleeper among several draft experts. Mocking The Draft did a great preseason write-up of how Curry could gain traction and surprise many with his speed and pass-rushing potential, and so far that is certainly the case.
The only knock against Curry is his size: he's a smaller DE (6'3, 266 lbs) that relies mostly on his speed (ran a 4.85 40) to get to the quarterback (of course, that never hurt guys like Robert Mathis).
For some reason Curry was among several D-linemen that didn't participate in the bench press. If he can add a decent bull rush to his repertoire once drafted and prove to scouts his strength isn't an issue at his Pro Day, Curry's a great option for the Falcons.
Jared Crick, Nebraska- Crick measured in at an impressive 6'4, 279 pounds. As MtD notes, he's not quite fast enough to really be a solid 4-3 defensive end, but has speed that would make him a very impressive 4-3 tackle (i.e. he's another Corey Peters).
While his 4.96 40-yard dash and below average 32-inch armspan were a little disappointing, we've seen already that Mike Nolan really likes linemen with versatility, and it wouldn't be a stretch to see the Falcons target Crick.
Jacquies Smith, Missouri- We know from past experiences that Thomas Dimitroff likes defensive players that hail from Mizzou (see: Sean Weatherspoon, William Moore). Could we see the Falcons take another?
More on the Curry end of the scale, Smith measured in at 6'3 and 253 pounds. With his very impressive 4.75 40, he very much fits the mold of DE/OLB hybrid. Again, that versatility is something Nolan could work with if the Falcons plan to run this weird 4-3/3-4 hybrid defense of his. Because of his size, Smith may also fall to where the Falcons could easily take him.
For more, check out Falcons blog The Falcoholic or head over to SB Nation's NFL hub page.