AtlantaFalcons.com's Daniel Cox will be live blogging throughout the draft as he brings you the latest in what's happening around the league and behind the scenes in Flowery Branch. Refresh this page often to see Daniel's updates throughout the night.
11:45 p.m.-That's going to do it for us tonight. We're dimming the lights on the team's facility in Flowery Branch this evening but we'll back just before noon on Saturday to pick up rounds four through seven of the draft. If it's anything like the last two days have been, it's safe to say it's going to be crazy. We'll see you then.
11:41 p.m.-Thomas Dimitroff just left the set of the live Falcons Draft Central broadcast and hopefully he'll get to bed soon before he returns to man the third day of the NFL Draft.
Dimitroff should be able to rest easy tonight knowing he accomplished what he set out to do in the second night. The GM said he wanted at least one and maybe two offensive linemen in this year's draft. Holmes, like his draft partner Peter Konz, is a "team-captain type" (in Dimitroff's words), something that is important to the Falcons and the chemistry they've built.
In Holmes Dimitroff doesn't exactly see a player that is a developmental prospect. He said Friday night that he wants competition on the roster this year and there will be no incumbents on the team. TD thinks Holmes has everything needed to be a left tackle in the NFL.
"He's a big man," Dimitroff said. ". . .I believe he's a double-wide load. He's a big, big guy that can potentially get even bigger. He does move well, he's got some light feet about him. He's an ornery guy too. . . .There's an edge there."
Holmes was a player on the Falcons' radar since he was an underclassman. They thought he was a raw prospect, but kept their eye on his this season. By the year's end they saw an impressive tackle that can anchor in the passing game and get out and move in the open field as a blocker in the running game.
Dimitroff anticipates Holmes will compete at left tackle for the Falcons, but they do believe he has the versatility to be a swing tackle and man both sides of the line.
11:14 p.m.-Atlanta's third-round selection after they traded back with Baltimore, offensive tackle Lamar Holmes from Southern Mississippi, just got off the phone with the Atlanta media.
Holmes said being drafted was one of the best feelings he'd ever had, a life-long dream.
"It was like the world's best feeling," he said. "It's been a dream since the day you could pick up a football or say the word 'football', something you've dreamed about your entire life. To have a coach call you and tell you you're part of the Atlanta Falcons now, it's something you can't really put into words. It's really great. I'm ready to go."
The massive tackle began his college football career in junior college before transferring to Southern Mississippi. It was there that he learned what it means to grind every day at practice.
"I went to junior college as a freshman with my head down and saying I've got to go in there and take someone's spot, I've got to have a job," he said. "I've got to get out on the field and I'm not here to make friends. I think that type of mentality carried me to where I am now. I went to Southern Miss with that same mentality and I've just got to keep doing it."
Voted by his teammates as a team captain, he helped lead Southern Miss to the Conference USA championship last season. While he rotated at left and right tackle on the offensive line while in junior college, at So. Miss. he played only at left tackle. He said he's ready to join the Falcons and get to work on a rookie season that he believes will see him contributing right away.
"I feel like I can come in and be a contributor right off from day one," he said. "I'm going to work and whoever is across from me, I'm going to make them work hard every day, all day."
10:47 p.m.-With the 91st pick in the third round, the Falcons selected Lamar Holmes, an offensive tackle from Southern Mississippi. A six-foot-five, 323-pound tackle, he improved his technique through his senior year while at Southern Miss. Scouts think he's a better athlete than he's given credit for because of his large frame. Naturally strong and a player that looks the part, he was ranked as 20th-best tackle prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com.
Holmes was a first-team All-Conference USA player for his performance in the 2011 season. He was a member of an offensive line that helped the team produce over 6,000 total yards on offense for the first time in school history.
10:24 p.m.-The Falcons have just traded the 84th overall pick to the Ravens in exchange for Baltimore's third-round pick at 91 and a fifth-round pick. This move makes it appear that Dimitroff has a player targeted and he feels he can get him while still moving backwards. The Ravens selected running back Bernard Pierce from Temple.
10:07 p.m.-The Arizona Cardinals are on the clock and the Falcons are four picks away from being back on the clock. We welcomed Peter Konz into the fold over an hour ago and the next pick will be coming shortly. Brandon Thompson, Alameda Ta'amu and Ladarius Green are among the players still available that may be of interest to the Falcons.
9:31 p.m.-The Falcons first selection of the 2012 Draft, Peter Konz, just got off of a conference call with the Atlanta media.
Konz said he hadn't met with the Falcons much during the pre-draft process, but his agent told him the team may be one with a center need when they went on the clock. Moments later he got a surprising phone call from Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff and the rest is Falcons 2012 Draft history.
"Being an NFL football player now, getting the opportunity is amazing," Konz said. "It doesn't matter where I fell to because I love the team that picked me. I have nothing but great respect for the organization. Now I get to help be part of a winning tradition."
Dimitroff said earlier this evening he believes Konz is versatile enough to line up at both guard and center positions and he anticipates the Falcons will challenge Konz to learn both positions. Konz said he never played any other positions while at Wisconsin, but practiced the other offensive line positions on occasions.
"At Wisconsin they made sure I knew tackle, guard and center," he said. "Any way I can help the team, that's my responsibility."
He cites New York's Nick Mangold and Cleveland's Joe Thomas as idols among the offensive line sect in the NFL. Thomas, a former Wisconsin tackle, is one of the best in the NFL at that position.
"I think all the offensive linemen at Wisconsin try to be like Joe in one aspect or another: just solid people and great football players," Konz said.
During his brief call he repeatedly spoke about how excited he is to come to Atlanta and be a part of the organization. He said he expects to learn a lot from veteran center Todd McClure and looks forward to working hard and continuing to grow as a player.
"I know I can always be better," he said. "That's why I think I'm a good pick, especially for the Falcons because I'm just going to keep getting better. I haven't reached my ceiling at all. I've got a lot more growth and I can be a lot better of a player."
9:01 p.m. -Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is on Falcons Draft Central live right now and is discussing his first pick of the 2012 draft: Peter Konz.
Dimitroff said he was really honed in on offensive line with his first selection. In Konz he sees a versatile and smart offensive lineman that can play guard or center.
"There's no question about it, this is what our goal was," Dimitroff said when asked if he expected Konz to come to Atlanta and compete for a starting job right away.
Dimitroff said he classified Konz as a combo guard and center and expect him to compete at both spots.
8:55 p.m.-Some rapid reaction on Twitter from Falcons fans reveals a mixed-opinion on Konz, though it's mostly encouraged and positive.
grantharrison91 - never been this enthused about a Falcons pick before LOVE it, great value. *
NorthernFalcon - Love it! We just picked up the #1 C in the draft can tell TD is also looking to the Future! He will start at OG Day 1
Jonny_Qu3st - Like the pick a lot. I was hoping for Curry, but Konz was BPA. Instant help for o-line. Got the #1 center at 55. Good value.
8:37 p.m. -The Falcons have announced their pick at No. 55, Wisconsin center Peter Konz. Most scouts and draftniks considered Konz to be the top center available in the draft. Many felt he was good enough to go in the first round. The six-foot-five, 314-pound Konz is the first center to be taken in the draft in 2012.
The junior brings his powerful run blocking to Atlanta and his pass protection rapidly improved during his career. The junior is also believed to be capable of playing at guard as well. He started 30 games during his career at Wisconsin.
8:15 p.m.-The Patriots just announced their pick at No. 48 and it's the first major head-scratcher of the night. They selected a safety, certainly a need, but Illinois' Tavon Wilson isn't a name many know. There was some pause on the network draft shows when Wilson was mentioned.
Adam Schein of FoxSports tweeted moments after the pick that long-time Dallas vice president of personnel and architecture of Super Bowl winners Gil Brandt rated Wilson as a free agent.
8:10 p.m.-I had a chance to sit down with former Falcons linebacker Coy Wire for a few moments this evening between takes of Falcons Draft Central.
Since leaving the Falcons, Wire is a published author and is growing his career as a public speaker. Wire gave me a few insights, based on his experiences with Dimitroff, Smith and the franchise, on what he thinks the Falcons may be looking for in the player they decide to select.
"Look for Dimitroff and coach Smith to go with high-character picks," Wire said. "Too much emphasis is placed on physical talent, but it's not the most important factor. All of the potential picks have physical talent, but Dimitroff and Smith want to know what type of character they are getting. How will that person react when entering a completely different environment? Will they be able to maintain and sustain through the transition into the NFL? Will they be able to handle it when they are no longer the big fish?"
Wire, a team captain during his time in Atlanta, knows a thing or two about character and being a leader. The linebacker thinks those two characteristics are vital to building a perennial winner. He thinks Dimitroff places emphasis on these two attributes and that has been a reason for the Falcons' success since he joined the franchise in 2008.
To Wire things are just getting started.
"Rise up?" he said. "The organization has already risen. Now? Keep rising! It's going to be a fun year in Atlanta."
7:45 p.m. -Before I can even hit "Update" on the blog, Miami selected Stanford left tackle, Jonathan Martin. It appears the run on offensive linemen has begun. Should I even mention who is remaining?
7:42 p.m.- And the trend of a player I mention in a post getting drafted immediately continues. Buffalo just selected Cordy Glenn at No. 41. A certain left tackle from Stanford is still available and I say that with my fingers crossed.
7:40 p.m.-NFC South foe the Carolina Panthers have made their selection and it's another popular player in Atlanta circles. Amini Silatolu, a guard from Midwestern State. There are still other players available, players that were believed to be higher rated than some of the players that have been selected in the last few picks. Georgia's Cordy Glenn is a big and talented guard that is still available. Many felt Silatolu would be around for the Falcons at No. 55. He's a small-school player but scouts loved his big, physical and nasty play. Silatolu will be expected to step in and start immediately on the inside of Carolina's offensive line. While quarterback Cam Newton is a talented runner, you can only assume the Panthers would like to run the ball more this coming season with the running backs in addition to Newton. Silatolu is a player that can help with that and Atlanta's defensive tackles Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters, among others, will get very used to the Midwestern State product.
7:30 p.m.-The Jacksonville Jaguars just picked Clemson defensive end Andre Branch, a player that many linked to the Falcons during the offseason. AtlantaFalcons.com profiled Branch earlier this offseason and at various points during draft season Branch was considered a first-round pick. He's not going to make it to No. 55 tonight, but a Clemson teammate of Branch's, Brandon Thompson, a big ol' defensive tackle, could be around when the Falcons take their pick in around an hour.
7:12 p.m.-Earlier this evening on Falcons Draft Central, former Falcons linebacker Coy Wire said he had a new name for the Georgia Dome as the Falcons continue their ascent in the NFL. He wants the dome to be called "The Aviary", defined as "a large enclosure for confining birds."
It's a pretty great name. Falcons fan @Paulitik74 says when the Falcons win the Super Bowl he thinks the dome should be renamed after head coach Mike Smith. "Mike Smith Field," he says and when you go to the game, you can say "I'll see you at The Smitty."
6:45 p.m.-Last night's draft was quite an experience. The 19 trades that we've witnessed in the first round (some of which didn't all come last night) were the most since at least 1970. The previous high during that span was 15 in 1995.
If you were like me last night, you were watching the draft on TV. Combined from ESPN and the NFL Network, 25.3 million other people were watching as well. The combined two-network average of 8.1 million viewers was 16 percent over last year's number and ranks as the second-most watched first round ever (8.3 million in 2010).
6:30 p.m. - Ready for Round Two?
The NFL Draft party cranks back up tonight and after one of the wildest Round Ones in league history, there doesn't seem to be any let-up in sight. The Falcons' first pick of the draft comes tonight at No. 55. Some of the selections that came in last night's first round surprised some while others surprised none. What did happen is the sliding of several talented offensive linemen, specifically two left tackles, a projected need for the Falcons.
Jonathan Martin, a six-foot-five, 312-pound Stanford product, was believed by many to be a first-round player. Ohio State's Mike Adams is also considered a top-tier, fringe first-rounder as well. All afternoon, the buzz among Falcons fans on Twitter was if Thomas Dimitroff and the Falcons front office will pull the trigger on a move to move up into the upper portion of the second round to snag one of those two players.
A number of other talented players still remain on the board from numerous positions. Vinny Curry, Devon Still, Jerel Worthy, Coby Fleener, Andre Branch and Brandon Thompson are among the players still left for the Falcons to consider.
Who do you think it'll be at No. 55 or will the Falcons move up? Let me know on Twitter.