With so many mock drafts pinpointing offensive linemen and tight ends for the Falcons at their first at No. 55, many eyes of the Falcons scouts figured to be focused on Saturday's workouts featuring offensive linemen and tight ends.
Since Atlanta's first pick isn't until the second round, many of the top offensive linemen won't be available, but there were plenty of linemen that shined on Saturday and could be in consideration should the Falcons elect to select a lineman.
Though linemen won't be running 40 yards often and speed isn't a necessity at their position, scouts still like to see solid 40 times from the big guys because it shows athleticism, a trait that is necessary as they work in small space against talented defensive linemen and speed rushers. The bench press is another workout that is important for the linemen since its a measure of strength, a quality necessary to defend off oncoming players in pursuit of the quarterback or running back.
Iowa State guard Kelechi Osemele had a solid day. At 6-foot-6, 333 pounds, Osemele's 40 time of 5.36 was very impressive. His bench press reps of 32 also grabbed scouts' eyes since he has the longest arms of any linemen at the Combine, 36 inches. Osemele is projected as a second-round prospect at guard and tackle. Many believe his size and strength will enable him to play on the outside in the NFL.
Tom Compton from South Dakota turned some heads with his workouts on Saturday. He showed good athleticism in his 40-yard dash and his ten-yard split of 1.69 was one of the fastest recorded. He also had a nine-foot broad jump making him an interesting pick for the middle rounds, where he's currently projected to be selected.
Michigan center David Molk, the Rimington Trophy winner as the nation's best center in 2011, completed 41 reps on the bench press. He's currently projected as a fifth-round pick.
The athleticism of tight ends continues to improve and this year's crop didn't disappoint on Saturday.
Coby Fleener didn't run the 40 on Saturday due to an ankle injury but his 27 bench press reps were tied for second among all tight ends.
Georgia's Orson Charles had an up-and-down day. He decided not to run the 40 despite not having an injury and he struggled in some positional drills. He also measured in at six-foot-two, 251 pounds, one inch shorter and ten pounds heavier than he was listed in college. On the other hand he showed tremendous strength in the bench press. His 35 reps were the best of all tight ends by seven pounds and he bested some of the top offensive linemen at the Combine as well.
Dwayne Allen from Clemson didn't produce the results in the workouts that some expected, but he had a solid day catching passes in positional drills. His 4.89 40 time was considered disappointing as were his broad jump and vertical, but he finished second among tight ends with 27 bench press reps.
One of the best performances of the day came from a little-known player, Temple's Evan Rodriguez. He's currently projected as a fifth-round pick as a full back, tight end and H-back. His versatility was already a plus and after his workout, his stock may begin to improve. He ran a 4.58 40 time, good for third-fastest among tight ends. Scouts were pleased with his ability to catch the ball in positional drills and his 36-inch vertical jump, tied for first among TEs, demonstrated some explosiveness and athleticism some didn't realize he had.