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Live Blog: Day 3


7:55 p.m.-The last pick means the last post-draft pick comments from general manager Thomas Dimitroff. In the incoming defensive tackle Travian Robertson the Falcons get another former college team captain and another beefy guy to clog up the middle of the defensive line. The D-line rotation philosophy is strong with head coach Mike Smith and Robertson expects to come in and be another piece.

"The most successful defensive lines have a rotation going on," Dimitroff said.

Robertson had a long day when the third day of the draft began this morning. He was one of the final few players selected in the draft and the last player from his former school.

Current Falcons defensive end and 2011 draft pick, Cliff Matthews was a former roommate of Robertson when the two were at school at South Carolina together. Like Matthews, Robertson brings a big-bodied presence to the defensive line.

"He has deceptive athleticism about him," Dimitroff said. "Hoping he develops and can be in the mix in the middle of the defensive line."

7:17 p.m.-Two and a half hours after the last Falcons' pick, pick No. 249 has been announced. In the seventh round the Falcons selected South Carolina defensive tackle Travian Robertson. The six-foot-four, 302-pound tackle was a fifth-year senior and team captain for the Gamecocks in the 2011 season. He ended the year with 49 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

The Robertson pick concludes Atlanta's draft. The Southeastern Conference produced two players, the Big Ten contributed two as well and Conference USA chipped in one as did the Sun Belt Conference.

5:51 p.m.-Yahoo! Sports' Shutdown Corner blog is one of the better ones around. Writer Doug Farrar just posted his analysis of the fifth round of the draft and he had some nice things to say about one of Atlanta's picks.

Farrar said Jonathan Massaquoi was among the best fifth-round value picks. In fact, Farrar, earlier this year, had Massaquoi ranked as one of his top 50 players in the entire draft.

"Expect new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to run different fronts, which could have Massaquoi playing a lot as a pass-rushing outside linebacker -- the position I believe best highlights his abilities," Farrar wrote.

5:29 p.m.-As we await the Falcons' final player decision of the draft, just four picks away from being Mr. Irrelevant, let's take a closer look at sixth-round pick Charles Mitchell.

"Versatility" has continued to be a word Dimitroff has used often over the last three days and he turned to it again this evening to describe his most recent draft pick.

"Charles is a versatile guy who can play free safety and strong safety," Dimitroff said during his post-pick appearance on the live Falcons Draft Central broadcast. ". . . (He) has big play ability, though he hasn't had his hands on the ball. We think he is a nice addition to our depth and as a player on special teams."

Dimitroff said usually in this area of the draft is when you find your fourth and fifth safeties and while you want to find a player that can certainly contribute if necessary on defense, you want players with core special teams ability.

Mitchell played every game during his college career and he attributed that to the strength program at Mississippi State. He's very mindful of stretching and using the cold tub frequently.

The topic of recent acquisition Asante Samuel came up during Dave Archer's talk with Mitchell following the selection. He thinks the addition is a sound one, but he sees a way he can come in and help the team right away.

"I see a lot of teams around the league missing tackles," he said. "I'm going to come in and try to help in that area of the game."

Coming from the SEC is never a bad thing and Mitchell thinks playing in what most consider the best conference in the country helps make him a better player. Playing against some of the best teams and players in the country has helped turn Mitchell into the player he is today.

4:46 p.m. - Atlanta has announced their sixth-round pick, 192 overall, safety Charles Mitchell from Mississippi State. He had 95 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack during the 2011 season.

The five-foot-11, 202-pound safety played in every game of his college career, starting 38 of 50 games. He's described as a physical run defender, but may need time to continue to develop coverage abilities.

He was named to the preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List for the 2011 season, the award given to the nation's best football player. Mitchell was a team captain for Mississippi State last season.

4:25 p.m.-The Falcons' second fifth-round pick, Jonathan Massaquoi of Troy, has some solid NFL bloodlines. His cousins are former UGA receiver and current Cleveland Brown Mohamed Massaquoi and former Minnesota Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.

Though he was born in west Africa, Massaquoi came to the United States when he was 16-months old with his mother. They moved to Georgia when he was four or five and they've remained there ever since. He attended high school at Central Gwinnett before attending Butler Community College in Kansas. He transferred to Troy after one season and following a redshirt season, the six-foot-two 264-pound defensive end began to hone in on his pass-rushing abilities.

Troy is a universtity that is quickly developing a reputation for churning out pass rushers, with the two most notable players recently being DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora.

"Hopefully I can be put into that conversation and follow the tradition," Massaquoi said on Saturday. "Only time will see. We have great coaches at the Falcons and I feel I'm going to be a right fit with my mechanics and how I play ball."

Massaquoi describes himself as a player with excellent hand usage and long arms. He feels he has exceptional burst off the ball and a motor that doesn't stop.

"I want to get to that ball, no matter the depths of the field," he said. "I believe the Falcons see my relentless spirit and how bad I want to get to the quarterback."

Dimitroff didn't expect to see Massaquoi at their pick in the fifth round and described himself as fortunate to have the former Troy pass rusher there waiting for him. He agrees with Massaquoi's scouting report on himself. He sees a versatile player that could give the Falcons an ability to showcase some 3-4 pass-rushing looks to opposing opponents.

"His versatility to be an outside backer in a 3-4, there's no question he can do that in our minds," Dimitroff said.

The call from Dimitroff to Massaquoi to welcome him to the team was the completion of a dream that has lasted almost a lifetime.

"Getting the call is a privilege," he said. "It's an honor and I'm privileged to be in this situation. For the Falcons to pick me, this is my hometown. Since being a little boy playing football, I've always said I wanted to be a Falcon. Since I got to college, I've always said I wanted to be a Falcon. I've always said this is where I want to be. …I want to go far with this team. They have a lot of great veterans on there."

4:05 p.m.-The Falcons continued their raid on the Wisconsin football program with their first fifth-round selection. They selected fullback Bradie Ewing, one of the draft's only pure fullbacks. Ewing joins the Falcons from the Wisconsin program along with second-round pick Peter Konz.

"Peter is a great guy," Ewing said. "Obviously I'm very excited to continue our careers together and be part of the Falcons organization."

Ewing walked on as a freshman at Wisconsin as a running back. He was converted to fullback and eventually earned a scholarship entering his junior year.

Though Ewing appears to be strictly a fullback in Atlanta's offense, based on how he was used at Wisconsin, he does bring versatility, including the ability to play special teams.

"I'm a very versatile player, I think," he said. "I can do all the things a traditional fullback can do as far as blocking from the backfield and all that stuff. I think I have phenomenal hands, I can catch out of the backfield. And I can play special teams."

A team captain, Ewing is a smart player who relishes the opportunity to do what he does best: get in the middle of piles and move players out of the way.

Asked about his roles in Wisconsin's short-yardage situation, he  had this to say: "I love doing that short yardage. Everyone's in the box. It's a fun time."

Dimitroff, speaking on the live Falcons Draft Central following the pick, spoke about Ewing's versatility and believes he will come in and immediately compete for the fullback spot.

"(He has) nice athleticism to adjust and seal off when necessary," Dimitroff said. "He has the ability to catch the ball too."

One of the most important aspects of Ewing's game to Dimitroff was his intelligence. Though fullbacks run and hit players, they need to be able to diagnose what is happening in front of them quickly, so they know exactly who and where to hit.

"That fullback position. you have to be acute with your mental ability because there's so much flying your way," Dimitroff said. "That's one of the things that is important to us."

3:20 p.m.-The Falcons have announced their second selection in the fifth round. At pick No. 164 Atlanta selected Jonathan Massaquoi, a defensive end from Troy University. At six-foot-two, 264 pounds, Massaquoi was the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year before the 2011 season began and finished his two-year career at Troy with 128 tackles, including 31 for a loss and 19.5 sacks.

Massaquoi played as a defensive end in Troy's 3-4 defense, but scouts believe he has the ability to stand up as a hybrid outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He displays explosive and sudden ability and many scouts think he is one of the pass-rushing sleepers in the draft. Though raw, he presents upside and can turn into a premier pass rusher.

2:58 p.m.-At pick No. 157 in the fifth round, the Falcons have selected fullback Bradie Ewing from Wisconsin.

The six foot, 239-pound Ewing led the way for one of the nation's best running games in 2011. Montee Ball was an All-American running  back running behind Ewing. He finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Ewing carried the ball seven times for 33 yards with two touchdowns in his career. He added eight catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Ewing is considered a very good special teams player as well.

2:28 p.m.-Chris Steuber is an excellent analyzer of the draft and scout. His website is here (be sure and check out his creative mock draft — it's one of my favorites.

I just sent him a tweet asking what his thoughts were for the Falcons first fifth-round pick at No. 157. Of the players available currently, he sees linebacker Travis Lewis, free safety George Iloka, defensive lineman Bill Winn and running back/returner Chris Rainey as options.

Iloka was second on Boise State last season in tackle with 58, but had only one pass break up and no intereceptions. His strength is more in run support and playing the part of the big, physical safety on the field.

Winn is a motor defensive end that gets by with effort and brute strength. He's also from Boise State. He had 34 tackles and eight tackles for loss in the 2011 season.

Lewis is a linebacker from Oklahoma. He was selected to the All-Big 12 Conference Second Team after his play during the 2011 season.

Rainey is a blazing fast running back who may be best suited to help as a returner in the NFL. However he does have quicks out of the backfield and an ability to catch passes. He's also blocked six kicks during his college career at Florida.

2:18 p.m.-I'm not sure if this has ever happened, but in the fourth round the Vikings selected a pair of Arkansas wide receivers, Greg Childs and Jarius Wright. They were teammates in high school in Arkansas at Warren High. They of course went on to be prolific receivers at Arkansas and now they've just been selected by the Vikings.

1:53 p.m.-While surfing the 'net looking for stories on the Falcons' two newest additions while we await Atlanta's fifth-round pick, I came across a short piece from Gastonia, NC, the hometown of third-round pick Lamar Holmes.

Holmes is the first player from his high school, Hunter Huss, to be drafted by an NFL team. He's the second-highest draft pick from Gaston County. The report says he had an individual workout for the Panthers on Wednesday of this week at his high school. The Falcons were among four other teams that worked out Holmes earlier in the spring.

1:31 p.m.-Just came across a news story on Peter Konz from his hometown newspaper. *The Post-Crescent *has a story (and video) on Konz and his reaction to being drafted by the Falcons.

The first reaction from Konz' mother, Margaret?

"He's got a job," she said.

Just like a mother, but she was clearly excited for her son.

Konz sounds almost relieved that Atlanta drafted him. He said his agent had identified six teams that may be in the mix for his services and the Falcons were one of them. One important member of Konz' family was hoping for the A.

"My fiancée wanted a few places and Atlanta was one of them," Konz said. "So I'll be sleeping sound tonight."

The Falcons' newest second-round pick and his fiancée will be getting married this summer. They don't know much about Atlanta right now, but that will change in time. For now, they know it's the home of Coke and the TV show "The Walking Dead".

"I really want to be on the set of 'The Walking Dead,'" he said. "That, would be really nice."

1:20 p.m.-As Thomas Dimitroff wrapped up his evening last night he shared a few thoughts on the final day of the draft.

First, the trade with Baltimore allowed the Falcons to recoup a fifth-round draft pick, a move that will give Dimitroff a little more ammunition to move around in the draft, should he chose to do so. He stated last night that it's not out of the realm of possibility.

"We like the fact that we can stay put or we can also package some picks as we've done in the past," Dimitroff said. "I like the idea of having the ability to be creative."

Dimitroff cautioned everyone to not rule adding more players with bulk as picks. While they used their first two picks bolstering the offensive line, a defensive player with heft could be coming in some of the later rounds of the draft.

The Falcons GM sees the middle rounds as prime places to snag developmental players and guys that can help teams in a number of ways. Dimitroff added that in this day and age of draft watching, there are times when a player is picked and no one understands the logic of the pick. He said that is sometimes because no one but the personnel people in the War Room understand exactly why a player is being picked for a certain team.

"I've learned this many years in this business, team-builders know their organization better than anyone," he said. "No disrespect to the fan base or the media, they have a vision of where they're going with their team. Sometimes there are guys they pick in the third, fourth or fifth round that are developmental type of guys that maybe people might not know about, but they know enough about what their vision is for that player."

So with all of that said, who do you think the Falcons will take with their first fifth-round selection? Let me know on Twitter.

12:11 p.m.-Good afternoon. Day Three of the draft has begun and rounds four through seven will be complete when the sun sets this evening. To recap last night, the Falcons selected Wisconsin center Peter Konz in the second round and traded down in the third round with the Baltimore Ravens and picked up Lamar Holmes, an offensive tackle from Southern Mississippi.

The Falcons invested their first two picks beefing up the offensive line and some of the incumbents took to Twitter last night to "welcome" those two to the offensive line club, a tight-knit group of guys that are known as much for their quirky personalities as their rather large and imposing size.

Right tackle Tyson Clabo fired up Twitter to say hello to the new boys.

"Lamar Holmes," Clabo tweeted. "Looks like I get two chicken biscuits. Make sure they put egg and cheese on mine."

"Peter Konz...... Welcome and on Fridays I like Chick-fil-a chicken biscuits," Clabo said after the second-round pick.

Veteran center Todd McClure also had a few words for the center: "Welcome Peter Konz. I like waffle house on Fridays. All star with hash browns scattered covered smothered peppered and capped. Extra bacon."

The big guys on the offensive line like their food and if you didn't realize this yet, the rookies are expected to bring it to them. I've also heard in the past they're responsible for ensuring the meeting room is stocked with snacks.

Enjoy the draft's final day!

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