FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Before the NFL Draft began, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff knew his team would not create a national buzz.
Last year’s first pick for Atlanta, receiver Julio Jones at sixth overall, caught everyone’s attention.
The first selection this year – No. 55 overall – was an offensive lineman from Wisconsin who can play both center and guard.
Dimitroff easily summed up the Falcons’ approach.
“Let’s just get some solid football players who can fit into roster spots of need,” Dimitroff said Saturday night.
A day after picking guard-center Peter Konz in the second round and Southern Mississippi offensive tackle Lamar Holmes in the third, the Falcons fleshed out their draft with a potential successor to fullback Ovie Mughelli and adding depth to their defense.
Bradie Ewing, a fifth-round pick from Wisconsin, could replace Mughelli as the starting fullback. The Falcons could decide to release Mughelli, a respected team leader and nine-year veteran, to create room under the NFL salary cap.
Seven spots after picking Ewing, Atlanta added Troy pass rusher Jonathan Massaquoi in the fifth round.
Massaquoi, the cousin of former Georgia wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, grew up as a Falcons fan in the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville, where he played at Central Gwinnett High School.
“I have a non-stop motor,” he said. “I want to get to that ball no matter the depths of the field, and I believe the Atlanta Falcons see my relentless spirit and how bad I want to get to the quarterback.”
The Falcons chose Mississippi State strong safety Charles Mitchell in the middle of the sixth round and South Carolina defensive tackle Travian Robertson late in the seventh.