With the NFL Draft just days away, every fan is eagerly awaiting to see what rookies will join their team next season. The pressure is highest for NFL front offices to make the right calls so no pick is wasted. The Atlanta Falcons find themselves in a good position entering the draft, having filled multiple needs already this offseason, but the draft is one of the craziest days in an NFL season so it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos.
Defense is the key to this draft for the Atlanta Falcons. The defensive guru that is Dan Quinn should look to bring in more young and athletic players to mold into defensive forces much like he did this past season with Keanu Neal and Deion Jones.
Versatility and dominance in college don’t always equate to that in the NFL. The Falcons should look to bring in a real safety later in the draft (sorry not sorry Jabrill Peppers) to help Neal in the secondary.
The first round pick for Atlanta should be spent improving the defensive line as it showed a lot of weakness this past season in getting to the quarterback. If Atlanta could build a solid front four to compliment what Vic Beasley and Jones do in the middle of the field, they could forget about teams making late game comebacks and having to purely outscore the other team.
The biggest thing the Falcons need to do is trust in Quinn and stick to their guns. Two viable defensive selections in the first round are Taco Charlton and Jordan Willis. I believe both of these guys have what it takes to start from day one of an NFL team and given the jump rookies made for Atlanta last season, they could both have a significant impact.
The Falcons need to take care to not get caught up in the amount of offensive talent at skill positions there is in this year’s draft. What’s looking to be a great year for quarterbacks and tight ends, does not need to end with a first or second rounder riding the bench all season. The Falcons aren’t losing a starter, minus Chris Chester, on offense so I see no need to fix what isn’t broken.
Although the Falcons have a need for a right guard after the retirement of Chris Chester. That being said Atlanta should move away from considering an offensive lineman in the first round. Top lineman such as Cam Robinson and Ryan Ramczyk will surely be off the board by the time Atlanta’s clock starts and when so many defensive studs are available, don’t waste the pick on offense.
The biggest “don’t” for the Falcons in this draft is don’t try to do too much. They’re coming off of a historically good season that ended in heartbreak and much of their roster is returning. Their whole team now has playoff experience and they don’t have to try to get fancy or take risks in the draft. If they make the safe and smart pick each round, they’re looking at another great season.
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