FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes Mel Kiper Jr.'s thoughts on a popular draft prospect as well as the 49er's plan for linebacker Reuben Foster.
FALCONS HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
ESPN: Kiper: Boom or bust with possible Falcons pick Taven Bryan
Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan is a prospect in this year's draft who has been increasingly linked to the Falcons in mock drafts. With the 2018 NFL Draft just days away, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. held a conference call to discuss his final thoughts on the class.
"Taven Bryan is the kid out of Florida who has a little boom or bust to him," Kiper said, according to ESPN's Vaughn McClure. "He could be great. He was disruptive, but he's got to locate the ball a little bit better. He gets in the backfield and all of sudden he's not making the play, where you see guys like [Da'Ron] Payne and [Vita] Vea doing that. [Maurice] Hurst as well."
The Falcons have a need at defensive tackle after the departure of Dontari Poe, Courtney Upshaw and Ahtyba Rubin in free agency. Jack Crawford is expected back for Atlanta this season after missing most of last year due to injury, but the Falcons could target the position in the first round.
There are a number of players at the position who could be potential fits for the Falcons alongside Grady Jarrett. While Bryan seems to be a popular mock pick for the Falcons, Hurst, Payne and Vea could all be in play, depending on how the draft shakes out.
"Maurice Hurst is the ultimate three technique out of Michigan," Kiper said, per McClure. "He's, I think, more of an early-to mid-second. Some think late first.
"Vea and Payne, if you want to say overrated because they're not going to give you great pass rush. They're going to be disruptive without being guys getting sacks."
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BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFL
NFL.com: John Lynch: Reuben Foster out if charges proven true
The San Francisco 49ers have a decision to make regarding linebacker Reuben Foster, who they selected in the first round of last year's draft. Foster has faced off-field issues since arriving in the league, and he was recently charged with three felonies following an alleged attack on his girlfriend.
It appears the 49ers will allow the judicial process to run its course before making a decision on Foster. San Francisco general manager spoke with the media on Monday saying that if the charges turn out to be true, "he won't be a part of this organization going forward," according to the NFL Network's Jim Trotter.
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