- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Let's hope Atlanta coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have an easier time deciding what to do with the No. 24 pick than our readers did. As I went through the votes for the Falcons in our readers' mock draft, I actually had to go back and do a recount because the margin between the winner and the second-place finisher was only two votes.
We'll let a few readers announce the pick.
Steve Salvo in North Haven writes: The Falcons should take LB Clay Matthews. This was hard because there's a lot of players we could take, Cushing, Delmas, English etc. Matthews will help finish out our starting LB core for next year which'll leave us with Peterson, Lofton, and Matthews. Clay Matthews fits the Tom Dimitroff type player("tough hombre") as I've heard him say, which, is smart, consistent, and hard-nosed.
Joe in Atlanta writes: The Falcons should take Clay Matthews. They definitely need to select a defensive player here. The front office is character driven, and after Michael Vick will shy away from anyone with character issues, which would eliminate Vontae Davis. Matthews versatility would enable him to step in and fill multiple holes in the Falcons defense.
Jason in Lexington, Ky., writes: The Falcons should take USC OLB Clay Matthews. Why? Because they need another strong, young OLB and while I would probably draft Cushing before Matthews (assuming Curry is long gone) I believe CM will be a great addition to the defense.
Pat Yasinskas: Yes, Matthews edged out Western Michigan safety Louis Delmas by two votes. Matthews' USC teammate and fellow linebacker Brian Cushing also was within a dozen votes of the top two, although some of you think Cushing will be off the board before the Falcons pick.
There also was fairly strong support for defensive tackle Ziggy Hood and defensive end Michael Johnson. There also were about 15 votes for tight end Brandon Pettigrew, but those came before Thursday afternoon's trade for Tony Gonzalez.
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas Let's hope Atlanta coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have an easier time deciding what to do with the No.