Official NFL team logos; 1 col.; 46.5 mm
FLOWERY BRANCH -- Two days after making a bold trade to pick receiver Julio Jones, the Atlanta Falcons played it safe in the final four rounds of the NFL draft on Saturday.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff traded up 13 spots in the fifth round to select Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers before choosing Miami punter Matt Bosher in the sixth round and using seventh-round picks on Fresno State guard Andrew Jackson and South Carolina defensive end Cliff Matthews.
''We accomplished what we wanted in this draft, which was to add explosive playmaking ability, urgency and leadership ability,'' Dimitroff said. ''Though we stressed offense this year, we feel that we accomplished somewhat on the defense and going forward we'll continue to build this team any way that we can (in free agency).''
The Falcons also selected Georgia linebacker Akeem Dent in the third round Friday, but Dimitroff created some buzz the night before by sending a pair of first-round picks and three other spots to Cleveland for the right to take Jones No. 6 overall.
Jones can't wait to return for his first game at the Georgia Dome since helping Alabama beat Florida for the 2009 Southeastern Conference title. The Crimson Tide went 3-1 at the dome during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
''I love the atmosphere there,'' Jones said. ''The fans are great. Just the atmosphere and playing under those lights -- I love it.''
Though Jones has prototypical size at receiver, Rodgers is a 5-foot-6 running back, but at 196 pounds, he has a compact frame and an ability to change speeds quickly.
Rodgers averaged 1,282 yards rushing and ran for 46 touchdowns in three seasons at Oregon State. Atlanta traded its fifth-round pick, 158th overall, and one of its three seventh-rounders to St. Louis to pick Rodgers.
Playing behind two-time Pro Bowl selection Michael Turner, Rodgers will compete with second-string running back Jason Snelling for snaps. He had just one fumble -- on a lateral pass -- in 939 career touches at Oregon State.
''In college, we always focused on ball security and blocking,'' Rodgers said. ''That's the main thing. He said, 'If you've made it to this point we already know you're a good runner, so protect the ball and protect the quarterback.'"