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2010 Cincy Jungle Mock Draft: The Atlanta Falcons Select...

The nineteenth pick in the inaugural edition of the Cincy Jungle Mock Draft is brought to us by member FSUBengal, selecting for the Atlanta Falcons. His explanation for the pick is after the jump. Thank you for your participation FSUBengal.

With the nineteenth pick in the 2010 Cincy Jungle Mock Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select...

Everson Griffen, DE, USC

Admittedly, I am not a huge Atlanta Falcons fan, but when studying the team it became evident that their major needs are on the defensive side of the ball. The Falcons only had 28 sacks last year and their pass defense was atrocious down the stretch. They addressed their problems at cornerback with the free agent signing of Dunta Robinson, but their pass rush is still severely lacking. John Abraham isn’t done yet, but his production has been dropping steadily and he will soon be 32 years old. Jamaal Anderson was the Falcons 8th overall draft choice in 2007 and has recorded 2.5 more sacks than I have in the NFL. His tackling numbers have declined each year he has been employed by Atlanta and it may be time to officially call this one a bust.

This leads me to the belief that Atlanta must draft for pass rush with the 19th pick. I would have considered Kyle Wilson, if he was still on the board, but I believe the upgrade in pass rush will improve the secondary. Brandon Graham was who I was targeting with the pick but the pass rushers are going fast this year. The pick came down to a decision between Everson Griffen and Sean Weatherspoon. The Falcons have a need for a WILL backer to replace Peterson, but Peterson was third on the team in tackles last year and I don’t see the need being as high. Ultimately, I decided that without a second round pick in this years draft, Atlanta will feel the pressure to address their need at DE and reach a little for Griffen.

Everson Griffen had a productive college career at USC even though he didn’t start until this year. During his freshmen and sophomore years he was used mostly as a pass rush specialist and was named The Sporting News PAC-10 Defensive Freshman of the Year. At 6’3 265, Griffen isn’t the prototypical size of a 4-3 end but the key to his game is his speed and quickness. Speed and quickness along with the fact he only benched less the one other defensive linemen (Ndamukong Suh) sound like a nice combination. Some people have worried that Griffen may be a workout warrior, even though he was projected as a top-5 pick earlier in his career. If Mike Smith and his staff can get Everson to play as big on the field as he does in the weight room, they will have what they thought they were getting with Jamaal Anderson.

Everson Griffen Highlights:

(via CaliforniasGold)