Falcons scouts didn't take even a moment to celebrate the end of the NFL Draft. They remained in full grind mode, manning phones placed in conference rooms throughout the team facility trying to recruit undrafted free agents.
The draft picks are attached to a team through a selection. You have to convince an undrafted player that he'll have an opportunity to fit right in. There's certainly competition for services, likely from other teams who also though highly of a particular player.
General manager Terry Fontenot calls the post-draft period "the eighth round," where scouts trying to lock down possible diamonds in the rough.
"We keep talking about our scouting staff and our coaches and all the work that goes into it, and they really grind through this free agency process as well," Fontenot said right after the Falcons final pick. "So I know we are going to continue to add some good football players. We're excited."
The Falcons have signed 13 undrafted college free agents, the team announced on Monday afternoon, featuring three receivers, two defensive linemen and a punter. All of these players will be thrown into a competitive mix on a team with depth chart openings, one that provides a real shot for unheralded players to make the team.
"Once they get here, it doesn't matter how they got here," Fontenot said. "It's competition at every position."
NFL.com listed defensive lineman Derrick Tangelo, safety Brad Hawkins, cornerback Matt Hankins and receiver Stanley Berryhill among the top college free agents at their positions. They also added offensive tackle Tyler Vrabel, son of Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, to the roster.
We'll find out more about this talents and how they'll mesh with the Falcons as we move through the offseason. There are always a few who stick around, with one or more making the 53-man roster or playing as roster elevations.
Here's the full list of college free agents signed with the Falcons:
WR Jared Bernhardt (6-1, 195), Ferris State
WR Stanley Berryhill (5-11, 190), Arizona
OLB Kuony Deng (6-6, 240), California
CB Matt Hankins (6-0, 181), Iowa
S Brad Hawkins (6-0, 207), Michigan
DL Timothy Horne (6-4, 323), Kansas State
WR Tyshaun James (6-2, 214), Central Connecticut
ILB Nathan Landman (6-2, 238), Colorado
DL Bryce Rodgers (6-2, 309), UC-Davis
DL Derrick Tangelo (6-1, 296), Penn State
P Seth Vernon (6-5, 230), Portland State
OL Tyler Vrabel (6-6, 315), Boston College
TE Leroy Watson (6-5, 270), UT-San Antonio
We take an inside look at the Atlanta Falcons' war room during the 2022 NFL Draft.
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