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Saturday, April 24, 2010
Atlanta Falcons load up at CB

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

The Falcons just jumped up 14 spots to get Oklahoma cornerback Domonique Franks in the fifth round.

Atlanta traded its fifth-round pick (No. 149) and sixth-round pick (No. 189) to the St. Louis Rams to get Franks at No. 135. It’s mildly surprising the Falcons were willing to trade away a pick to get a cornerback because they solidified the position earlier in the offseason when they signed free-agent Dunta Robinson and re-signed veteran Brian Williams. They also have high hopes for young players Christopher Owens, Chevis Jackson and Brent Grimes. They were so confident in the position that they traded away former starter Chris Houston.

But Franks is an exceptional athlete and some pre-draft publications projected him to go much earlier than the fifth round. He comes with experience, as a two-year starter in a top-notch conference, and has good size. The one knock on Franks is that he’s not a great tackler.

But he’ll get a chance to develop that ability with the Falcons. If he can do that, he'll have a chance to contribute. Atlanta still has its compensatory pick (No. 165) at the end of the fifth round.