Falcons quietly went about their business in draft

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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.

COLTS MAKE HUSKIES QB 2012’S ‘MR. IRRELEVANT’

INDIANAPOLIS — Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish is the new Mr. Irrelevant.

The Indianapolis Colts took the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year with the final pick in this weekend’s draft, No. 253 overall. It’s the first time since 1967 that a non-expansion team has had both the first and last pick in the draft. Indianapolis opened the draft by taking Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall choice Thursday night.

Harnish, an Indiana native, will be the feature attraction at Irrelevant Week, June 30 through July 2, in Newport Beach, Calif. There will be an arrival party at a hotel in Newport Beach, a fund-raising roast attended by celebrity guests and the Lowsman Award. The award started in 1976.

– Associated Press

SATURDAY’S AREA DRAFT NOTABLES

POS. PLAYER COLLEGE ROUND/PICK NFL

C Ben Jones Georgia Fourth/99th Texans

CB Coty Sensabaugh Clemson Fourth/115th Titans

TE Orson Charles Georgia Fourth/116th Bengals

CB Brandon Boykin Georgia Fourth/123rd Eagles

OL Rokevious Watkins South Carolina Fifth/150th Rams

K Blair Walsh Georgia Sixth/175th Vikings

OL Justin Anderson Georgia Seventh/208th Colts

DE DeAngelo Tyson Georgia Seventh/236th Ravens

S Antonio Allen South Carolina Seventh/242nd Jets

DT Travian Robertson South Carolina Seventh/249th Falcons


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