2012 POD Mock Draft: Atlanta Falcons Select Dwayne Allen

CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 17: Dwayne Allen #83 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates against the Auburn Tigers during their game at Memorial Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

With the 55th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2012 NFL mock draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen. Jeremy j is serving as the Falcons' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.

Thanks to giving up their first-round pick for Julio Jones, the Atlanta Falcons are finally on the clock at pick No. 55. The Falcons are an interesting team. They're good enough to make the playoffs by beating the teams they're supposed to, but they fail to beat elite teams. The Falcons are also long in the tooth at positions like DE, TE and RB. So, the Falcons have many holes to fill if they still want to contend in the NFC. The team could go in many different directions based on whoever falls to them, but in our draft I select Dwayne Allen, a TE from Clemson.

How much longer can the future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez go? At age 36 it is time to find a good replacement. Dwayne Allen was a two-year starter for Clemson. Allen, at 6'3" and 255 lbs., won the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end. Allen is a fluid pass catcher. He runs solid routes and locates the ball well. He reminds me a lot of Gonzalez with his ability to block out defenders and make the catch. Allen is also a possession type receiver, which fits perfectly with a team that has Roddy White and Julio Jones. Allen's biggest weakness stems from his blocking ability. He doesn't show explosiveness off the line on run blocks, but then again neither does Tony Gonzalez.

I did look at other options for the Falcons. If one of the better RBs would have fallen to this position, I may have jumped on them since Michael Turner is up there in age. I also looked at guys like Andre Branch, Amini Silatolu, Harrison Smith, Billy Winn and Jared Crick.

I expect a few critics here because of the multiple ways the Falcons could go. Even the fans on The Falcoholic are evenly divided on who their team should select. Let me know what you think.

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Check out the 2012 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.

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