NFL draft watch: Ryan hopes Falcons add blindside protector

NFL draft watch: Ryan hopes Falcons add blindside protector
April 21, 2012, 3:21 am
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No doubt when it comes to the Redskins this season, NFL mock drafts are drama-free. For Washingtons 2012 opponents, now thats another story. Therefore, leading up to the first round on April 26, we will look at the needs and the projected selections from the pundit class for those on the Redskins upcoming schedule. Next team under the microscope, the Atlanta Falcons, owners of zero first-round picks. See the bottom of the page for a list of teams previously featured.Schedule: Week 5, atFedEx Field, 1 p.m.Needs: Left tackle, Tony Gonzalez's eventual replacement, secondary, guardcenterSince their 2011 campaign that ended in a first-round playoff exit and the reigning division champion Saints will be without their head coach, this is feeling like a rather important season for theFalcons. It starts without afirst round selection after shipping it and more in the Julio Jones trade. Atlantare-signed free agentscornerback Brent Grimes (franchise) and defensive end John Abraham, but lost stud inside linebacker Curtis Lofton to the Saints. Matt Ryan's blindside received a constant wave ofdefenders asSam Baker struggled, which is whya left tackle stands as the Falcons topneed.Gonzalez has indicated 2012 could be his final season and the tight ends class drops after the top three options.Charley Casserly, NFL.com:Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State. "Help is needed on the offensive line."Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN:Kelechi Osemele, TG, Iowa State. "Osemele played left tackle at Iowa State, but he's a guy I'm looking to move inside to become a mauler in the run game. He has the size (333 pounds) to engulf smaller defenders, and you'll see that because he can get to the edge and flatten linebackers. He's a nice addition up front."Walter Football: Osemele. "The Falcons have to make two upgrades to the offensive line (left tackle, right guard). They've shown a ton of interest in Kelechi Osemele."Notes...Kiper has Sanders landing with the Redskins in the third round.Previous Redskins 2012 opponent recapsBaltimore Ravens Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland BrownsPittsburgh SteelersBen Standigblogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C. area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.netand follow him on Twitter @BenStandig