Falcons ink four draft picks to 4-year rookie deals

5/20/13 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

FanIQ | Sports Rumors, Gossip, Blogs, News & Discussion ForumsThe Atlanta Falcons have signed the first four of their 2013 draft picks to four-year deals according to the rookie pay scale instituted under the new collective bargaining agreement. The recently signed draft picks include a pair of defensive ends – Malliciah Goodman and Stansly Maponga – as well as pair of safeties – Kemal Ishmael and Zeke Motta.
 
The , 6-foot-4, 276-pound Goodman was the Falcons’ first of two fourth round picks (127th overall) in the 2012 NFL draft. A Clemson product, Goodman started 28 of 54 career games for the Tigers, while recording 127 tackles with 23 tackles for a loss, 12 sacks, three passes defensed and one fumble recovery.
 
Stansly Maponga was a solid pass rusher on a talented TCU defense last season. The 6-foot-2, 265-pound Maponga was selected 153rd overall in the fifth round by the Falcons. Maponga started 34 of 36 career games at TCU, while amassing 113 tackles with 23 tackles for a loss, four passes defensed, 15.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. As a senior, Mapogna only registered four sacks while playing injured last season. Maponga is expected to compete special teams snaps in his rookie season.
 
Kemal Ishmael was the first of three of the Falcons’ seventh round picks (243rd overall) in the draft. In 56 career games at Central Florida, Ishmael registered 368 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, six interceptions, one sack, six forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. The 6-foot-0, 206-pound Ishmael adds depth to the Falcons’ safety position. Ishmael should likely figure as a backup behind starters William Moore and Thomas Decoud, if he makes the final roster. Otherwise, Ishmael should be able to stick to a role on the special teams.
 
Zeke Motta was selected by the Falcons as the second of three seventh round picks (244th overall). The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Motta finished his collegiate career by posting 179 tackles with four tackles for a loss, one sack, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble for the Fighting Irish. He made 29 starts in 51 career games at Notre Dame. The 23-year-old Motta figures as a strong safety in the NFL but might be able to convert to linebacker if the Falcons need him at the position.
 
Now the only Atlanta Falcons draft picks that remain unsigned are cornerbacks Desmond Trufant (first round) and Robert Alford (second round), tight end Levine Toiolo (fourth round) and quarterback Sean Renfree (seventh round).
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