Team needs: Atlanta Falcons

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With the NFL Draft approaching, we’re taking a team-by-team look at the needs of each club. Up next is the team with the No. 30 overall selection, the Atlanta Falcons. They have a total of 11 picks, and aren’t afraid to make bold moves, so their picking somewhere north of 30 is a real possibility.

Defensive end: There’s already noise about the Falcons wanting to move up in the order, and it makes sense that their target would be a pass-rusher.

John Abraham was still producing right up until the time they released him, and they have to find someone to replace that production other than Osi Umenyiora, who has not produced at the same consistent level. If they can get into the top half of the first round, they can find someone in the Abraham mold, before the run starts.

Cornerback: This would be the other drastic need that could be the target for a move-up. It seems like forever ago they were three-deep with excellent players. But with Brent Grimes gone to Miami and and Dunta Robinson released and resurfaced in KC, they’re down to Asante Samuel and a bunch of guys.

Linebacker: You could probably run down the list of defensive positions, and the Falcons could stand to upgrade. Sean Weatherspoon is quite good, but the rest of their linebacking corps is fairly ordinary.

Tackle: The thinking is the release of Tyson Clabo opened the door for Lamar Holmes to start at right tackle, and that could work. But they still need cover here, particularly if newly rich left tackle Sam Baker goes back to the 2011 version instead of the 2012 salary-push version.

Guard: The retirement of Todd McClure leaves a big hole, but they could slide 2012 second-rounder Peter Konz over from right guard. But that leaves another vacancy. They have some in-house candidates, but need depth here.

As good as they are, they’re not as well-covered as you’d think. They have nothing to speak of in terms of depth on defense. Heck, they don’t even have a full complement of starting-caliber players on that side of the ball.

But their offensive skill-position talent is so good, it might not matter. As long as Matt Ryan, Steven Jackson, Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez are together, the Falcons are going to be among the best in the NFC.

But until they get at least a little bit better on defense, it’s going to be hard for them to make the next step.

Their offseason efforts have focused on retaining their own, and making a few surgical signings of veterans who came looking for rings. Their team is good enough that 11 draft picks aren’t making their 53-man roster, so they might as well make some moves, and see if they can plug some starters in on defense.

16 responses to “Team needs: Atlanta Falcons

  1. A lot of folk seem to be high high high on Lamar Holmes at RT when he was supposedta be the future LT as Sam Baker blew in 2011 but for gawd’s sake the running game was hard to find last year which is why it’s good that Steven Jackson can & will catch the Matty Ice lil’ balls and rip n’ tear on the hand offs but they need vet insurance at RT but John Abraham needs to be back as he has been the only pass rusher the last half decade. No draft picks or free agents have worked out.

    Oh, don’t forget to draft a QB later on 😉

  2. The Falcons defense is much better than they are given credit for. Sure they play better than the sum of their parts but they also aren’t the 2012 Saints D which for some reason they are often made out to be.

    The only real fault you can throw on them is their play in the playoffs but last I checked the “top” defenses in the NFL in SF and Seattle weren’t too hot in the playoffs either.

    Fact of the matter no defense is going to shut anyone down when you get to playing the best of the best in the 2nd round and further of the playoffs and the Falcons defense is easily good enough to get them there. 14 passing touchdowns allowed despite playing Brees x 2, Peyton, Eli, Cam x 2, Freeman(he had 27 passing TDs) x 2, and Romo doesn’t happen by accident.

  3. Falcons secondary has been sub-avg and vulnerable to the pass just about all season except the 6 picks of peyton and 5 from Brees..other than those games, the defense has been mediocre with only Abraham giving them their only real pressure to the quarterback and he is young pass rushers at all…Falcons can only cross their fingers and hope Osi can replace Abraham, their d-line is weak and the only good linebacker is weatherspoon…stick a fork in the rest of those other guys, they suck..hopefully they address their defensive issues in the draft..corners, pass rushers and linebackers

  4. this team and it’s DESPICABLE, fickle fan base are THE WORST IN MODERN SPORT. i live here, trust me! the fans are the worst that i have ever witnessed as it pertains to following the games and base knowledge of the game. the georgia dome is atlanta’s meet market on sundays. half of the season ticket holders are single black women, some of which are there just to “catch”, yet there are some that REALLY get into the game (you fellas should see those ladies work those stilletos up and down the concrete steps inside the dome…no kidding, i’m being VERY serious.). with that being said, overall, the female fans are the most passionate fans in the building whenever i attend a falcants game…falcons fans, MAN UP! mr. blank is a fine human being and the very best thing to ever happen to the franchise, but he needs to do something drastic like change the colors or perhaps change cities or he will become a miserable old man. 2013-2014 prediction, falcons 13-4. yet ANOTHER 1 and done in the playoffs. #falconhaternumber1

  5. If TD trades up, it will be for an impact DE. Pass rushing will be a big deal against Brees, Brady, Rodgers and the other pass-first QBs they’ll face this year.

    Swapping firsts and giving up the 2014 first rounder will be fine… As long as next year’s first is #32!

  6. you forgot qb. Matty has been blessed with one of the better teams in the league’s for the last 1/2 a decade and his postseason win total is equal to Lucks and Wilson’s. what a joke. and the only reason he has ONE postseason win, is a major defensive mistake in the last 1/2 minute by my Hawks. enjoy another 13 win regular season and early postseason exit Falcons fans.

  7. Didn’t know coming into a franchise with no head coach ( quit ) 4 exiting Pro Bowlers, and a franchise QB arrested for dogfighting was :

    “being blessed with one of the better teams in the league”

    Russell Wilson would be a colossal bust if he was drafted and started 2008 with the same situation as Matt Ryan was in.

    Matt Ryan = 2nd most wins since he entered the league. Wilson has one good season and Seachicken fans are crowning him as the Next Joe Montana..

    that’s the real joke.

  8. Defense – Defense – Defense. I want someone who can tackle… period.
    & a reply to Seahawks fan “spideysdog” – that sounds like sour grapes.
    If the ATL is so bad…….. what does that make Seattle..? Shhhhhhh.

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