Since the Falcons gave up their 2012 first round pick in the NFL Draft, they've been largely ignored in most mock drafts circulating these here internets, but ESPN's Todd McShay has projected the second round, where the Birds will pick 55th overall.
McShay forecasts the Falcons drafting a potential replacement to graybeard John Abraham in Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry. Curry is 6-foot-3, 266lb. defensive end (the AJC has a nice bio on him here) who had two sacks in the Senior Bowl. The New Jersey native finished his career with the Thundering Herd with 77 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks and seven forced fumbles.
Seven? The AJC asked him just how he managed such a feat:
Q: How did you get so many forced fumbles?
A: This year, coming into the season, everybody knew I was coming off a really hot junior year. Basically I knew what I was getting myself into this year as a senior with game planning and double teams and triple teams and chips and sometimes quadruple teams … So my defensive line coach, Fred Tate, he sat me down one day. He said, ‘What you going to do, man?’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘You got to do something else to separate yourself from the rest of the defensive linemen in the country.’ So I worked on stripping every day. If you look at my strips or forced fumbles, they’re not really from the quarterbacks. I only had one quarterback forced fumble. The rest came from running backs and chasing down screen plays. I worked hard at that.
For more on the Atlanta Falcons and the 2012 NFL Draft, go to Mocking The Draft, SB Nation's NFL page and The Falcoholic.