The Falcons concluded their first rookie minicamp under head coach Mike Smith on Sunday. Forty six players attended the three day camp, designed to introduce the rookie class into the Falcons offense, defense and special teams. Of those 46, ten players were working on a try-out basis only. Fullback Lee Meisner, wide receiver Kenny Stafford and tight end Aron White were all signed on Sunday.
Smith felt the minicamp was a success because the coaching staff was able to devote all their time and energy to the rookies and young players present for the weekend session.
"Focusing on the young guys was the most significant difference, you didn't have to worry about anything," Smith said. "Probably the negative thing is that you didn't get an opportunity to compare them to the guys that are actually on your roster. We'll get an opportunity to do that the rest of the offseason. I think it's a nice way to ease the guys in. They don't have to worry about working with the older guys. It's all guys that are on the same playing field in terms of their knowledge of our offense."
After the camp ended on Sunday, the Falcons announced the signing of four of their draft class rookies. Guard/center Peter Konz, fullback Bradie Ewing, safety Charles Mitchell and defensive tackle Travian Robertson were all signed to their rookie contracts.
Smith was pleased with what he saw from his draft class during the minicamp, though third-round tackle Lamar Holmes was unable to practice because of an injury.
"I really thought our draft picks looked very good, the entire draft class," Smith said. "Travian, the big defensive tackle, Mitchell on defense and Massaquoi, those guys showed a lot of what we saw on film. It carried over. Offensively, unfortunately Lamar wasn't able to particiupate. Bradie did a nice job getting indoctrinated."
The Falcons' top pick, Peter Konz spent time at both guard and center positions during the camp. Though he was used predominately as a center during his college career at Wisconsin, the Falcons have intentions of giving him a shot at guard as well. The minicamp was an important step in the process for Konz to convert to the new position for Atlanta.
"Peter, I think we saw that he can play both positions and that was something that we wanted to make sure we get cleared up here at this camp," Smith said.
The Falcons will begin their offseason organized team activities on May 29 and will conduct a full-team minicamp from June 19-21.