Need for Speed  


2015 NFL Draft: Falcons, Jets among teams that got faster


General managers and head coaches covet speed and quickness when examining top prospects during the pre-draft process. Playmakers with the burst and acceleration to blow past opponents give defensive coordinators nightmares -- unless those coaches have dynamic defenders at their disposal. Thus, it isn't surprising when I see NFL teams add a host of electric athletes to their rosters when constructing a championship-caliber team. Given a chance to reflect over the draft moves made this weekend, here are five teams that added a lot of speed and explosiveness to their respective lineups:

Atlanta Falcons


Draft coverage:

Round 1, Pick 8: Vic Beasley, OLB
Round 2, Pick 42: Jalen Collins, CB
Round 3, Pick 73: Tevin Coleman, RB
Round 4, Pick 107: Justin Hardy, WR
Round 5, Pick 137: Grady Jarrett, NT
Round 7, Pick 225: Jake Rodgers, OT
Round 7, Pick 249: Akeem King, DB

The Falcons are revamping their roster under new head coach Dan Quinn. The team added explosive athletes on both sides of the ball to enable them to attack opponents on the edges. Vic Beasley is the most dynamic pass rusher off the edge in this year's class, and the team added a pair of fleet-footed defensive backs in Jalen Collins and Akeem King to cover him up in the backend. Offensively, the Falcons nabbed an electric runner in Tevin Coleman and selected the ultra-quick Justin Hardy to wreak havoc from the slot.

Baltimore Ravens

Round 1, Pick 26: Breshad Perriman, WR
Round 2, Pick 55: Maxx Williams, TE
Round 3, Pick 90: Carl Davis, DT
Round 4, Pick 122: Za'Darius Smith, DE
Round 4, Pick 125: Javorius Allen, RB
Round 4, Pick 136: Tray Walker, CB
Round 5, Pick 171: Nick Boyle, TE
Round 5, Pick 176: Robert Myers, OG
Round 6, Pick 204: Darren Waller, WR

Credit general manager Ozzie Newsome for grabbing a big, explosive pass catcher in Breshad Perriman. The ex-UCF standout is a blur on the perimeter; he will team with tight ends Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle to upgrade the Ravens' passing game. Javorius "Buck" Allen is a crafty runner with stop-start quickness and burst. He adds a different dimension to the running game anchored by veteran Justin Forsett. Tray Walker gives the Ravens a big, athletic press corner with length and outstanding agility.

Minnesota Vikings

Round 1, Pick 11: Trae Waynes, CB
Round 2, Pick 45: Eric Kendricks, ILB
Round 3, Pick 89: Danielle Hunter, DE
Round 4, Pick 110: T.J. Clemmings, OT
Round 5, Pick 143: MyCole Pruitt, TE
Round 5, Pick 146: Stefon Diggs, WR
Round 6, Pick 185: Tyrus Thompson, OT
Round 6, Pick 193: B.J. Dubose, DE
Round 7, Pick 228: Austin Shepherd, OT
Round 7, Pick 232: Edmond Robinson, OLB

Mike Zimmer continues to revamp the Vikings' roster by adding dynamic playmakers to line up on the perimeter. Trae Waynes, Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter are some of the most explosive athletes at their respective positions; they will upgrade the overall speed on a defense that's already one of the fastest in football. Stefon Diggs is a sneaky athlete with the speed and quickness to deliver home runs on vertical plays and kick returns.

Philadelphia Eagles

Round 1, Pick 20: Nelson Agholor, WR
Round 2, Pick 47: Eric Rowe, CB
Round 3, Pick 84: Jordan Hicks, OLB
Round 6, Pick 191: JaCorey Shepherd, CB
Round 6, Pick 196: Randall Evans, CB
Round 7, Pick 237: Brian Mihalik, DE

Chip Kelly has spent the 2015 offseason reconstructing the Eagles' roster into a legitimate contender that features explosive players across the board. He picked Nelson Agholor to anchor the passing game as a potential WR1. The ex-USC standout displays the speed, quickness and suddeness to excel on vertical routes or chew up yardage on catch-and-run tosses. Defensively, the Eagles continue to assemble a number of dynamic athletes with acceleration and straight-line speed. Eric Rowe, JaCorey Shepherd and Randall Evans are a trio of fast cornerbacks with the collective athleticism to help the Eagles match up with the shifty, speedy receivers in the NFC East.

New York Jets

Round 1, Pick 6: Leonard Williams, DE
Round 2, Pick 37: Devin Smith, WR
Round 3, Pick 82: Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB
Round 4, Pick 103: Bryce Petty, QB
Round 5, Pick 152: Jarvis Harrison, OG
Round 7, Pick 223: Deon Simon, NT

Leonard Williams is a "dancing bear" on the interior, with the first-step quickness and burst to blow past blockers at the point of attack. Todd Bowles must've been thrilled to see the former USC star fall to him at No. 6 overall. Lorenzo Mauldin is an active pass rusher with closing quickness. Offensively, Devin Smith adds a vertical option to the Jets' passing game with his ability to race past defenders. He will clear the zone and make life easier for fellow receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Bryce Petty gives the Jets a sneaky dual-threat quarterback to enhance the game plan.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.



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