Atlanta Falcons impressed with top picks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford

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Mike Smith says he tried to test Atlanta Falcons rookies with an overload of information in a short period of time.

Atlanta cornerbacks Robert Alford (left) and Desmond Trufant, the Falcons' top two picks in the NFL Draft, impressed coach Mike Smith during rookie camp.  CURTIS COMPTON/ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
CURTIS COMPTON/ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Atlanta cornerbacks Robert Alford (left) and Desmond Trufant, the Falcons' top two picks in the NFL Draft, impressed coach Mike Smith during rookie camp.

The coach says the first-year players survived the test during three practices at the rookie camp which ended Sunday. The rookie class, topped by Atlanta’s first two draft picks, cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, also showed skills to impress Smith and his staff.

The draft picks were joined by undrafted rookie free agents and first-year players invited for tryouts. It was the start of what Smith said is the “recalibration” of the Falcons roster.

Highlights included the speed of Trufant and Alford, the strength and pass-rush promise of defensive end Malliciah Goodman and the size and good hands of 6-foot-8 tight end Levine Toilolo.

TEBOW TOP MAN: Recently released quarterback Tim Tebow is the most influential athlete in sports in 2013, according to a Forbes.com survey, the results of which were posted Monday.

Forbes.com, which used Nielsen and E-Poll to conduct the survey to determine which athletes have the most influence among fans in the United States, reported that 29 percent of the respondents found Tebow to be “influential.”

Forbes.com did not release the number of participants in its survey but, when contacted by ESPN.com, said more than 1,000 people took part in the poll.

DOLPHINS: By acquiring former Atlanta Falcon Tyson Clabo, Miami filled the biggest hole in its lineup.

Clabo signed Sunday and is expected to play right tackle, with Jonathan Martin moving from right to left tackle, where he’ll replace the departed Jake Long.

The 6-foot-6 Clabo spent the past seven seasons with Atlanta and was a 2010 Pro Bowl selection. He has 101 career starts, including every game the past five years, but was released by the Falcons this spring.

“It was very sudden when I was released. Unexpected,” he said. “I’m a pretty tough critic on myself and I don’t feel like there has been much drop in my play to date. So I am just going to continue to take care of my body and try to continue to play at a high level.”

VIKINGS: Released punter Chris Kluwe, bringing an end to his colorful and outspoken eight-year stay in Minnesota.

Kluwe announced the news on Twitter shortly after meeting with Vikings GM Rick Spielman.

It was a move that had been expected ever since the team spent a fifth-round draft pick on punter Jeff Locke at the end of last month.

49ERS: Signed guard Adam Snyder to a two-year contract, bringing him back to the franchise after a year with the Arizona Cardinals.


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