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Monday, April 14, 2014
Falcons take closer look at Montana's Tripp

By Vaughn McClure

Eventually, the Atlanta Falcons will have to addresss their depth at linebacker, considering how injuries affected the position throughout the 2013 season.

The Falcons seem destined to draft a linebacker or two with 10 picks in this year's draft. The question is, how high will they be willing to invest in a linebacker?

Well, Montana's Jordan Tripp seems to be making a steady rise up the draft charts and some believe he won't last beyond the third round.

And the Falcons continue to take a close look at Tripp. NFL.com's Gil Brandt first reported Tripp would make a pre-draft visit, and the linebacker prospect was actually was in Atlanta on Monday visiting with the team.

The 6-foot-3, 234-pound Tripp entered the draft process projected as a late-round pick. He is listed as an outside linebacker but would project better as an inside linebacker as the Falcons move toward a 3-4-base defense. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds at the combine. And Tripp called himself the most versatile linebacker in the draft.

Drafting a player from Montana wouldn't be new to the Falcons. They drafted defensive end/linebacker Kroy Biermann in the fifth round out of Montana in 2008 and also drafted former Montana safety Shann Schillinger in the sixth round in 2010. Biermann is set to return from a season-ending Achilles' injury while Schillinger was released by the Falcons and picked up by the Tennessee Titans.