Rookies get their first test at Falcons' OTAs

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The most noticeable difference for the Atlanta Falcons between the first week of organized team activities and the second week was the roles for the rookies.

The first week, Falcons coach Dan Quinn kept players such as first-round pick Keanu Neal with the backups while getting accustomed to new surroundings. But during Week 2 on Tuesday, Neal, a projected starter, was running with the first team at strong safety while fourth-round draft pick De'Vondre Campbell was working with the first unit at Will linebacker.

"With a number of the guys, we wanted to find out 'Let's see what they have and how well they can learn,'" Quinn said. "And there were some busts, for sure. And that's part of it. You have to kind of go through that frustration of, 'Oh, I missed that call. I missed where I was supposed to be.' ... It was good to throw a lot in there today."

Deion Jones, the second-round pick from LSU, remained with the second team at middle linebacker as Paul Worrilow kept working with the starters. Fifth-round pick Wes Schweitzer lined up at left guard alongside starters Jake Matthews, Alex Mack and Ryan Schraeder for one series with newcomer Tom Compton at right guard.

Tight end Austin Hooper, the third-round pick from Stanford, is not with the team right now because classes are ongoing at the school.

Here are some other quick observations from Tuesday's OTAs:

  • Vic Beasley Jr. was not working at Sam linebacker with the first unit in the base package. Philip Wheeler took those reps, while Beasley worked primarily as a nickel edge rusher off the left side. Beasley worked with a rush group of Jonathan Babineaux and Derrick Shelby on the interior and Brooks Reed off the right edge. Beasley did play Sam in the base with the second unit, though.

  • When defensive line coach Bryan Cox summoned the three-technique defensive tackles to take part in a 2-on-1 drills, the only two "three-techs" to toe the line were Tyson Jackson and Babineaux. The Falcons moved Ra'Shede Hageman to the four-tech defensive end position.

  • Akeem King saw time with the first unit outside at corner alongside Desmond Trufant in the nickel package. King's presence kicked Robert Alford inside.

  • Cornerback Jalen Collins, who can practice but is suspended the first four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, made a nice play on the ball to intercept Matt Schaub during 11-on-11 drills. It's something Collins did not show at all last season.