Football season is sneaking up on us. We’re far from the games, but practice and tryouts are starting up. The Falcons minicamp starts this afternoon, and there are many things to look forward to for Falcons fans. This will be the first time new head coach Dan Quinn will be coaching his new team, even though it’s just the rookies. Here are three things to look forward to during the three-day minicamp in Flowery Branch.
1. Will Jalen Collins game transition into the NFL?
I do not want to sugarcoat it, Jalen Collins college career was nowhere near successful. With multiple failed drug tests in college, Collins never really settled into his position at LSU. On the field, I feel many fans and experts have overhyped his play. He is a solid open field tackler and excels at press coverage, but it isn’t a great sign that his starting role was overtaken last year. I think Collins physique is a big reason why the Falcons front office took a gamble on him in the draft, and hopefully it pans out. Today should be the new start for Jalen Collins, as he needs to grow up from his past. Hopefully he can start opposite of Desmond Trufant for years to come.
2. Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett
These two Atlanta draft picks have something in common that the other draft picks do not; they played together in college. Now it is time they take their talents to the NFL and continue their dominant play that they had at Clemson. Beasley, the Falcons’ first round draft pick, is going to be the most watched player during minicamp. Richard Smith and Dan Quinn finally can see what kind of talent they brought to Atlanta. Jarrett, the Falcons fifth round draft pick, will also be very interesting to watch. He was projected to be taken in the second round, but fell to the fifth. This tandem will be interesting to watch for the next three days, and hopefully the next couple of years.
3. Which UDFA will make some noise?
The Falcons actually have signed some pretty talented undrafted free agents. I have already stated that I think Kevin White, cornerback from TCU, is a top UDFA in the NFL, and predicted he would make the 53-man roster. The Falcons UDFA’s also include Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, Derrick Malone, Beau Gardner, and other talented players who can make the team. Ume-Ezeoke was the best center in FBS, but the transition will not be easy into the NFL. Gardner had the best vertical leap in the 2015 draft class, so maybe he can become a red zone threat.This rookie minicamp might be the biggest camp in these players lives, so they all need to bring their highest level of play to the field.
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