Mike Smith will host his first rookie minicamp in Atlanta

Mike Smith is opening a new era in Atlanta. The Falcons coach is going open up a rookie minicamp for the first time starting Monday, a chance to get some more hands-on work with the club’s draft picks and undrafted free agents.

The Falcons don’t have any players coming from schools with late graduations so they anticipate full participation, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"We want to get a good look at these first-year players," Smith said. " It will be more like coaching sessions," Smith said. "They are able to come back, practice and get involved in our offseason programs."

The work now will help get the rookies up to speed before OTA’s kick off for the Falcons on May 25. Smith has three rookies that could contribute immediately on defense. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, the first-round pick, is expected to start immediately. Corey Peters, the third-round pick from Kentucky, is could be in the rotation from the start and cornerback Dominique Franks, a fifth-round pick from Oklahoma, could compete for playing time in the sub packages.

"This year we are going to spend some time with the players in the classroom and really try to get them up to speed," Smith said.

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