Florida State Seminoles linebacker Telvin Smith (22) smiles as he answers questions. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons host Telvin Smith


The Atlanta Falcons biggest needs relate to premium positions involved in the passing game, as they could use huge upgrades at either the offensive tackle position or at a pass rushing position. A dynamic edge rusher like Jadeveon Clowney could be in the cards for the Falcons, but they would have to trade up for the best prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft class. If not, they can still stay at six and pick up an elite tackle prospect in Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson.

Outside of those two major needs, the Falcons are simply looking for good football players, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. Florida State Seminoles star linebacker Telvin Smith is a favorite of draftniks, but he hasn’t gained much mainstream attention despite his strong workout numbers and 2013 tape on the national champs. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Smith is visiting the Falcons today, and this visit is worth keeping a close eye on. The Falcons could use another talented linebacker, especially if they would like to transition to the 3-4 and have a strong combo up the middle in Sean Weatherspoon and a potential impact rookie like Smith.

The Florida State product is just 6’3″, 218 pounds, and size concerns have led some to want to bill him as a safety. Most people hate this idea, especially since there is a greater emphasis on fleet-footed linebackers who can keep up with running backs in coverage and stay on the field for all three downs. With a 4.52 forty and excellent athleticism and instincts, Smith can certainly be a valuable starting asset in this league, with size concerns being a crutch argument against him. He’s more of a 4-3 WILL linebacker than  a 3-4 ILB, but he could still fit the Falcons with his work in coverage and instincts and speed vs. the run that make up for a lack of size. He isn’t a thumper like Preston Brown, but not every LB has to be built in the traditional mold, especially if they have other, more appealing qualities.


Tags: Atlanta Falcons Florida State Seminoles Football NFL Draft Telvin Smith