AT­LANTA FAL­CONS

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - NFC SOUTH -

Grade: B+

The Fal­cons were the bene­fac­tors of the early run on quar­ter­backs and teams ahead of them draft­ing for need. GM Thomas Dim­itroff stayed pa­tient, and Ri­d­ley fell into their laps at No. 26 as one of the best val­ues in the first round. The Fal­cons ad­dressed de­fense with two very solid picks on Day 2. Oliver will com­pete in nickel pack­ages im­me­di­ately, while Se­nat is a thick, squatty pres­ence on the in­te­rior of the de­fense who will oc­cupy dou­ble teams and clog rush­ing lanes.

Best pick

Calvin Ri­d­ley comes along just when ru­mors started to sur­face about Julio Jones po­ten­tially be­ing un­happy with his con­tract. Dim­itroff brought in a fel­low for­mer Alabama re­ceiver who could prove the per­fect com­ple­men­tary threat. Ri­d­ley didn’t post big num­bers in a run-first of­fense, but he is quick and runs the full route tree and his quick­ness will pose a threat along­side Jones and Mohamed Sanu.

Up­side pick

Isa­iah Oliver is tall and long with ideal man cov­er­age skills and ex­pe­ri­ence against top re­ceivers in the pass-crazed Big 12. He’ll com­pete right away be­hind Des­mond Tr­u­fant and Robert Al­ford.

USA TO­DAY

Ri­d­ley

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