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Falcons expect Jerry’s return to help pass rush in 2010

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Dan Parr
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Posted March 05, 2010 @ 11:10 a.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Some expect the Falcons to take a cornerback or defensive end with their top pick (19th overall) in this year's draft. GM Thomas Dimitroff indicated DT Peria Jerry's progress in recovering from a torn ACL could play a significant role in the team's decision-making process before the draft. Jerry was Atlanta's first-round pick in 2009.

"(Jerry) was really coming along well for us (before the injury)," Dimitroff said. "He was going to help create some pass rush up the middle, which obviously is going to free something up on the outside, and John Abraham would continue to get upfield along with Kroy Biermann and some of our other young guys (at defensive end)."

If Jerry, who played in two games before sustaining the season-ending tear in '09, returns in offseason workouts before the draft and looks to be coming along well, that could help push the Falcons in the direction of taking a cornerback, or perhaps even a linebacker, with the 19th pick, rather than an end, with the expectation that Jerry's presence will bolster the pass rush.

"If we feel very comfortable with (the defensive line), we have to seriously look at ... there are other positions on defense as well — corners, linebackers," Dimitroff said. "If we feel that (those positions) will continue to shore up our defense, we may go there, as well."


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