Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss. He was a projected top-10 or top-15 talent and better than what Atlanta had on their roster heading into the draft. Most didn’t think he would still be on the board at #24, but a wacky 1st round left plenty of options for the Atlanta Falcons at their spot on day 1 of the 2009 NFL draft.
In addition to Jerry, Safety Louis Delmas was on the board (Mayock claiming he had a 2nd round grade on Delmas), as well as Laurinaitis and Maulaluga from the linebacking position. I am a believer that you draft the lines, so Jerry in the 1st round was a great pick. I also like that Tony Gonzalez was traded for prior to the draft so tight end wasn’t even a consideration (Pettigrew was selected prior to #24 anyway) because he is a proven commodity and tight ends can take time to develop in the NFL (look at Vernon Davis).