Atlanta Falcons fan Anothony Morda (center) and Thomas Grogan ( left) cheer on the Falcons during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons continued adding to their defense by selecting Clemson defensive end Malliciah Goodman in the fourth round of the NFL draft on Saturday.
After picking cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford in the first two rounds, the Falcons took Goodman, who had seven sacks last season and whose eight career forced fumbles rank third in Clemson history.
Goodman (6-foot-4, 276 pounds) was a starter the last two years at Clemson.
Atlanta released longtime defensive John Abraham during the offseason and added free agent Osi Umenyiora. Goodman will compete for the second starting job opposite Umenyiora.
Finishing 24th in overall defense last year, the Falcons released cornerback Dunta Robinson and had cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Christopher Owens leave as free agents, but they re-signed strong safety William Moore.
Also in the fourth round, Atlanta selected Stanford tight end Levine Toilolo.
The 6-foot-8, 260-pound Toilolo was Atlanta's first offensive player of the draft after the team used its first three picks for defensive help. Toilolo will have a chance to be mentored by veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez, who put off his retirement plans to return for the 2013 season.
Toilolo had 24 catches for 393 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. He had 10 career touchdown catches.
The big tight end was the Falcons' first of four compensatory picks on Saturday, including three in the seventh round.
The Falcons traded up 10 spots in the fifth round to select TCU defensive end Stansly Maponga.
Maponga was the fourth defensive player drafted by the Falcons over the last three days.
Maponga (6-foot-2, 256 pounds) had four sacks and 6.5 tackles for negative yardage last season and was listed as first-team All-Big 12. He missed two games because of a foot injury.
Since releasing longtime defensive end John Abraham in the offseason, the Falcons have added veteran free agent Osi Umenyiora from the New York Giants, Goodman and Maponga at end.
Atlanta used compensatory picks to select Kemal Ishmael, safety out of UCF, Notre Dame safety Zeke Motta and quarterback Sean Renfree from Duke in the seventh round.