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Falcons sign Hawley and Franks, waive four


Flowery Branch, Ga.-- Four down, three to go.

The Atlanta Falcons today signed fourth round (117th overall) pick center Joe Hawley and fifth round (135th overall) pick cornerback Dominique Franks. Their signings bring the total to four the number of 2010 draft choices under contract with the team. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The Falcons also waived cornerback Dominique Daniels, long snapper Justin Drescher, kicker Garrett Lindholm and defensive tackle Trey Bryant.

Hawley, 6-3, 302 pounds, competed in 47 career games with 33 starts at UNLV as a center and right guard. During his senior season, he started all 12 contests and was not credited with giving up a sack all season. Hawley also earned the Rebel Spirit Award, which is given to the senior who showed the most toughness, positive attitude and strong commitment to his teammates. In 2008, he displayed his versatility by starting seven games at center and five games at right guard.

Franks, 6-0, 197 pounds, started 28 of 40 career games at cornerback for the University of Oklahoma and tallied 95 tackles, six interceptions, 15 passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. He also recorded 29 career kickoff returns for 346 yards during his time with the Sooners. In 2009, Franks started 13 games for the nations 20th ranked pass defense (179.7 yards per game) and posted a career-high 47 tackles, while adding five passes defensed, two interceptions, 1.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He received All-Big 12 Conference first-team honors by the league's coaches and earned second-team honors from the Associated Press, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kansas City Star and Waco Tribune Herald.

Daniels (6-2, 190 pounds, Nicholls State), Drescher (6-1, 230 pounds, Colorado) and Lindholm (5-9, 190 pounds, Tarleton State) were originally signed as college free agents on April 26. Bryant, 6-2, 315 pounds, was signed on April 29 after spending his collegiate career at Baylor University.

The Falcons have now signed four of their seven 2010 NFL Draft selections, which include: defensive tackle Corey Peters (third round), Hawley (fourth round), Franks (fifth round), and safety Shann Schillinger (sixth round).

Still unsigned are linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (first round), offensive guard Mike Johnson (third round) and wide receiver Kerry Meier (fifth round).

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