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PRO FOOTBALL


PRO FOOTBALL
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is comfortable picking late in the first round of the NFL draft.


During his days in New England, the Patriots rarely had a top-10 pick but always seemed to find good players late.

This year the Falcons will wait, watch and attack when USC linebacker Brian Cushing falls to them.

The theme of the day will be defense. After five starters left in free agency, all positions need an infusion of talent.

quot;We need to go into the draft with an arrangement of our needs across the board,quot; Dimitroff said. quot;Every position is ranked. I think that's important. It's not like we just have three needs, and we are throwing darts at the best players. We'll continue to be needs-based and fill holes through the draft.quot;

If Cushing doesn't drop to the Falcons , look for another good defender to be selected --- either Missouri defensive tackle Ziggy Hood, Mississippi defensive tackle Peria Jerry or Northern Illinois defensive end Larry English.

The Falcons will address the secondary later in the draft with Western Michigan safety Louis Delmas, Troy State safety Sherrod Martin, Georgia cornerback Asher Allen and New Mexico cornerback Glover Quin as potential targets.

2009 MOCK DRAFT

Staff writer D. Orlando Ledbetter projects the first round:

Team............Player ..............Pos.....School

1. Lions........Matthew Stafford ....QB......Georgia

2. Rams ........Jason Smith..........LT......Baylor

3. Chiefs ......Aaron Curry..........LB......Wake Forest

4. Seahawks ....Mark Sanchez ........QB......USC

5. Browns ......Brian Orakpo ........DE/OLB..Texas

6. Bengals......Andre Smith..........T ......Alabama

7. Raiders......Eugene Monroe........OT......Virginia

8. Jaguars......Jeremy Macklin ......WR......Missouri

9. Packers......Tyson Jackson........DE......LSU

10. 49ers ......Michael Oher ........T ......Mississippi

11. Bills ......Aaron Maybin ........DE......Penn State

12. Broncos*....B.J. Raji............DT......Boston College

13. Redskins....Robert Ayers ........DE......Tennessee

14. Saints......Chris quot;Beaniequot; Wells RB......Ohio State

15. Texans......Everette Brown ......DE/OLB..Florida State

16. Chargers....Michael Crabtree ....WR......Texas Tech

17. Jets........Percy Harvin ........WR......Florida

18. Broncos ....Vontae Davis ........CB......Illinois

19. Buccaneers..Peria Jerry..........DT......Mississippi

20. Lions*......Rey Maualuga ........LB......USC

21. Eagles......Brandon Pettigrew....TE......Oklahoma St.

22. Vikings ....Kenny Britt..........WR......Rutgers

23. Patriots....Larry English........DE......N. Illinois

24. Falcons ....Brian Cushing........LB......USC

25. Dolphins....Malcolm Jenkins......CB......Ohio State

26. Ravens......Darrius Heyward-Bey..WR......Maryland

27. Colts ......James Laurinaitis....LB......Ohio State

28. Bills*......Eben Britton ........T ......Arizona

29. Giants......Brian Robiskie ......WR......Ohio State

30. Titans......Hakeem Nicks ........WR......North Carolina

31. Cardinals ..Knowshon Moreno......RB......Georgia

32. Steelers....Clint Sintim ........LB......Virginia

*Notes: Broncos' No. 12 pick is from Bears; Lions' No. 20 pick is from Cowboys; Bills' No. 28 pick is from Panthers through Eagles.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

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