2014 NFL Offseason: Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons (Last Year: 4-12)

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2014 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB T.J. Yates, TE Beat Pascoe, G Jon Asamoah, G Gabe Carimi, DE/DT Tyson Jackson, NT Paul Soliai, CB Josh Wilson, CB/KR Javier Arenas, S Dwight Lowery, KR Devin Hester.
Early Draft Picks:
OT Jake Matthews, DE/DT Ra'Shede Hageman, RB Devonta Freeman, DE/OLB Prince Shembo, CB Ricardo Allen. Falcons Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
RB Jason Snelling, FB Bradie Ewing, TE Tony Gonzalez, G Garrett Reynolds, OLB Stephen Nicholas, ILB Akeem Dent, CB Asante Samuel, S Thomas DeCoud.

2014 Atlanta Falcons Offense:
Poor Matt Ryan was so helpless last year. Players around him were going down like flies. Julio Jones, Roddy White and Steven Jackson all missed action this past season. Jackson was out for four contests, but never looked right after he returned. White missed just two games, but he was clearly hobbled in the first half of the year, and he was pretty much just a decoy until December. Jones' absence hurt the most, however, as he was enjoying a dynamic season before he went down. Jones played five games, but was on pace for a ridiculous 1,856 receiving yards.

Jones and White should be back at full strength, but Ryan lost Tony Gonzalez to retirement this offseason. Gonzalez could always come back - he joked that he would return if Atlanta began the year with a 10-0 record - but it's looking like the team will have to move forward with Levine Toilolo as its starting tight end. This means that the Falcons will utilize more three-receiver sets. Harry Douglas proved himself worthy of more playing time when he racked up 85 catches and 1,067 receiving yards when Jones and/or White were out of the lineup.

Jackson, however, is a different story. He turns 31 in late July, so there's a chance that his ineffectiveness last season was the product of his aging body; not the injury that knocked him out for a quarter of the year. Jackson will get another chance to prove himself, but the Falcons spent a fourth-round pick on Devonta Freeman, who was terrific in rookie minicamp.

One area that really hurt Ryan this past season was the offensive line. Ryan took 44 sacks in 2013, the highest total in his career (previous high was 28). Thus, it's no surprise that the Falcons did multiple things this offseason to improve Ryan's protection.

Atlanta began by hiring Mike Tice. The former Bears' offensive line coach was responsible for turning around a very weak front that always had Jay Cutler running for his life. He's capable of working the same magic in Atlanta, especially given that the team used the No. 6 overall selection on Jake Matthews. The Texas A&M product was once considered as a potential choice for the Rams at No. 2 overall, and he's viewed by many as the safest rookie in the class. Matthews will begin his career at right tackle across from Sam Baker, who will be manning the blind side. Baker was atrocious in four games in 2013, but was bothered by a knee injury. He's coming off surgery and should be better with Tice's tutelage, as long as he's healthy.

The Falcons also bolstered the interior of the front by signing Jon Asamoah away from the Chiefs. Asamoah is a solid blocker who figures to start at right guard, joining Justin Blalock and Joe Hawley inside. Blalock was solid at left guard this past season, while Hawley proved to be a massive upgrade at center once the team started him there over the inept Peter Konz.

2014 Atlanta Falcons Defense:
The Falcons didn't just focus on improving their offensive line. They made numerous additions on defense as well, as they mainly focused on bolstering the trenches.

Atlanta signed two key free agents there - Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai - and spent its second-round choice on Ra'Shede Hageman. Jackson and Hageman are ideal fits as 3-4 ends. Hageman is a raw player who has tons of upside. He's not ready to start yet, so he'll play behind Jonathan Babineaux, who is coming off a solid, all-around season. Jackson, meanwhile, doesn't offer anything in terms of a pass rush, but he's a monstrous run-stuffer. The same can be said for Soliai, who will be a big upgrade at nose tackle.

Many figured the Falcons would find a new pass-rushing linebacker, but that never happened. There were rumors about Atlanta moving up for Jadeveon Clowney, and to a lesser extent, Khalil Mack, but nothing ever surfaced. In fact, the Falcons never addressed the position until the fourth round when they selected Prince Shembo out of Notre Dame. Shembo probably won't be ready to play - and if he is, he may even be used at inside linebacker - so he likely won't unseat Kroy Biermann this year. Biermann is an average player who tore his Achilles last September. He almost certainly won't be 100 percent even though Atlanta will ask him to get to the quarterback with Osi Umenyiora, who wasn't as impressive as the 7.5 sacks he accumulated in 2013 indicate he was.

Atlanta planned on using Sean Weatherspoon and Paul Worrilow at inside linebacker. Weatherspoon, a former first-rounder, is yet another player who missed extensive time in 2013. That may have been a blessing in disguise, however, as it helped the coaching staff find Worrilow, who led the team with 127 tackles. Worrilow isn't great or anything, but he definitely proved himself worthy of being a capable starter. Unfortunately, disaster struck this offseason, as Weatherspoon tore his Achilles in June. His absence will once again be huge.

Aside from Weatherspoon, the only real defensive starter the Falcons lost was safety Thomas DeCoud, but his departure isn't a big deal because he may have been the worst regular player on Atlanta's stop unit. Unfortunately for the team, it didn't really find an upgrade for DeCoud, opting instead to sign Dwight Lowery, who was waived by the Jaguars of all teams last year. The Falcons spent a third-round pick on Dezmen Southward to perhaps challenge Lowery, but Southward was considered a reach. Either way, it's not looking good in terms of the spot next to William Moore.

Atlanta at least has the cornerback position figured out. Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, chosen in the first and second rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft, respectively, both were effective starters in 2013. That's especially true for Trufant, who performed exceptionally. The Falcons did lose Asante Samuel this offseason, but he was just a depth player at this point in his career. Besides, they more than made up for it by signing Josh Wilson away from the Redskins. With Wilson and Robert McClain on the roster, Atlanta is very deep at corner.

2014 Atlanta Falcons Schedule and Intangibles:
In five seasons, Matt Ryan is 37-12 in the Georgia Dome. The Falcons were 3-5 at home this past season, but they were 4-12 overall.

The Falcons were pretty mediocre in terms of the return game. No touchdowns were scored for or against them for the second straight season.

Matt Bryant has been one of the top kickers in the NFL over the past four years. He was 28-of-31 in 2010, 27-of-29 in 2011, 33-of-38 in 2012 and 24-of-27 last season. He's 10-of-12 from 50-plus in that span. He's also very clutch.

Matt Bosher ranked 11th in net average in 2012, but improved this past season, finishing sixth. He was in the middle of the pack in terms of placing kicks inside the 20.

Atlanta has a somewhat tough schedule. Playing the Saints twice, Packers, Bears, Bengals (road), Ravens (road) and Cardinals will be difficult.

2014 Atlanta Falcons Rookies:
Go here for the Falcons Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2014 Atlanta Falcons Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2014 Atlanta Falcons Analysis: The Falcons will rebound, and because expectations are down, they'll surprise many of their opponents. They had so many injuries this past season, so as long as they stay mostly healthy - beyond Sean Weatherspoon, of course - they'll compete for a wild card spot, or perhaps even the division title. Remember, they nearly beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship in January 2013, so they could easily bounce back to that level.

Projection: 9-7 (2nd in NFC South)

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings

More 2014 NFL Season Previews

Follow @walterfootball for updates.


NFL Draft Team Grade: C+ Grade

Goals Entering the 2014 NFL Draft: Many seem to forget that the Falcons were in the NFC Championship 16 months ago. They fought through a barrage of injuries this past season and were never able to recover because of their lacking depth. Atlanta essentially just needs to bolster its roster while taking care of a few needs, including rush linebacker, safety and right tackle.

2014 NFL Draft Accomplishments: I don't think the Falcons are fans of their own draft. They got off to a good start with Jake Matthews, though he was close to being the worst-case scenario pick at No. 6 (Clowney-Robinson-Mack-Matthews-Watkins would have been disastrous for them). Matthews will be a huge upgrade at right tackle, and he'll eventually move over to the blind side, where he'll offer great protection for Matt Ryan.

It all went downhill from there, however. The Falcons were trying desperately to move into the end of the first to secure one of Dee Ford, Jimmie Ward or Deone Bucannon. All of them went off the board rather quickly. That prompted the front office to make a strange choice in Ra'Shede Hageman, who will be stuck behind a bunch of players on the depth chart. Atlanta followed that up with two reaches: Dez Southward and Marquis Spruill.

The Falcons saved themselves with some nice choices like Devonta Freeman and Ricardo Allen, but they didn't have a good draft overall.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

6. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: A Grade
Would anyone be surprised if Jake Matthews ends up being the best tackle in this draft? No one should be. Jake Matthews doesn't have Greg Robinson's athleticism, but he's still a stud, and he's the best the Falcons could have hoped for without trading up (Khalil Mack was not getting by Oakland). Protecting Matt Ryan is paramount, especially after this past season, and Atlanta has just added a major piece to keep its quarterback off the ground.

37. Ra'Shede Hageman, DE/DT, Minnesota: C Grade

How many defensive linemen do the Falcons need? They signed so many this offseason, and they had so many other needs. There's decent value with Ra'Shede Hageman, so this pick isn't terrible, but Hageman is blocked with all of the talent ahead of him on the depth chart. He's also basically a height-weight-speed guy, so he has a high bust rate. I feel like Atlanta panicked a bit because all of the players it was considering went off the board (Deone Bucannon, Dee Ford).

68. Dez Southward, S, Wisconsin: C- Grade
The Falcons started off well with Jake Matthews, but they've headed southward since. Get it, southward? Meh. Dez Southward is a reach; I had him in the sixth round of my mock, and I haven't heard any team that had him much higher. I get that Atlanta is desperate for safety help, but it could have waited for Southward.

103. Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State: A- Grade
There were some less-talented running backs chosen before Devonta Freeman, so I really like this value for Atlanta. Steven Jackson was a major disappointment this past year, so the Falcons need to find a long-term solution who could perhaps step in this season if Jackson struggles again. Freeman has Rookie of the Year potential if Jackson gets hurt.

139. Prince Shembo, DE/OLB, Notre Dame: B- Grade
The Falcons finally get their pass-rushing linebacker. They showed a ton of interest in Prince Shembo throughout the pre-draft process, so it's no surprise that they're picking him a little earlier than he was projected to go.

147. Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue: B+ Grade
Ricardo Allen could have been chosen a bit earlier than this, so I like this selection. The Falcons had to address their cornerback depth, so this is a pretty solid choice.

168. Marquis Spruill, ILB, Syracuse: C Grade
The Falcons had to find some linebacker depth, so picking a player at the position in the fifth round makes sense. However, they chose a seventh-round prospect; they could have obtained him later and chosen a better prospect here instead.

253. Yawin Smallwood, ILB, Connecticut: A Grade
I thought Yawin Smallwood would go much earlier than this. There was a ton of interest in him during the pre-draft process, so seeing him fall to the seventh round is surprising. The Falcons are doing a good job of adding depth to their linebacking corps, and I like Smallwood as a prospect better than the other linebacker they chose.

255. Tyler Starr, DE/OLB, South Dakota: B Grade
Another linebacker, but this one can get after the quarterback. The value is right for Tyler Starr, and considering the lack of talent at pass-rushing linebacker, the South Dakota prospect could definitely make the roster.

Season Summary:
Excluding the Texans, there was no more disappointing team in the NFL this year than the Falcons. At least they can use injuries as an excuse. Five starters landed on injured reserve, and this does not include the likes of Roddy White, Steven Jackson, Asante Samuel and Sean Weatherspoon, who were out for a period of time with various maladies.

Offseason Moves:
  • Falcons sign TE Bear Pascoe
  • Panthers sign S Thomas DeCoud
  • Falcons sign CB Josh Wilson
  • Falcons waive FB Bradie Ewing
  • Falcons sign KR Devin Hester
  • Falcons re-sign DT Peria Jerry
  • Falcons sign CB/KR Javier Arenas
  • Falcons sign G Jon Asamoah
  • Falcons cut TE Tony Gonzalez
  • Falcons sign NT Paul Soliai
  • Falcons cut S Thomas DeCoud
  • Falcons sign DE/DT Tyson Jackson
  • Falcons re-sign C Joe Hawley
  • Falcons re-sign DT Jonathan Babineaux
  • Falcons re-sign OT Mike Johnson
  • Falcons re-sign DT Corey Peters
  • Falcons announce retirement of RB Jason Snelling
  • Falcons cut G Garrett Reynolds
  • Falcons sign G Gabe Carimi
  • Falcons cut CB Asante Samuel
  • Falcons cut OLB Stephen Nicholas

    Team Needs:
    1. Two Offensive Tackles: The Falcons aren't going to give up on Sam Baker after one failed season of his 6-year, $41 million contract, but perhaps they should because he appears to be a sunk cost. The right tackle position could be upgraded if the Falcons don't believe in Mike Johnson's ability to stay healthy. Perhaps Tyson Clabo can be re-signed. I don't expect Atlanta to use the No. 6 overall pick on a tackle. Re-signed Mike Johnson

    2. Two Defensive Tackles: Jonathan Babineaux is a free agent, while Corey Peters is coming off an Achilles injury. The Falcons will probably spend a second-day selection on an interior defensive lineman. Signed Paul Soliai; re-signed Jonathan Babineaux, Corey Peters and Peria Jerry

    3. Right Guard: The Falcons need to repair their entire offensive line, and their most pressing need is perhaps at right guard. Luckily, there will be plenty of talented guard prospects to choose from at the beginning of Day 2. Signed Jon Asamoah and Gabe Carimi

    4. Defensive End: Osi Umenyiora did an OK job in replacing John Abraham, but Atlanta has to find someone on the other side to take Kroy Biermann's role. There will be tons of pass-rushing options available with the sixth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Signed Tyson Jackson

    5. Center: Todd McClure was really missed at center, but Joe Hawley showed some promise. He's a free agent. Re-signed Joe Hawley

    6. Tight End: Tony Gonzalez announced his retirement, which means there's a chance he'll be back next year. If not, Atlanta will obviously have to find someone to replace his production.

    7. Running Back: Steven Jackson was a disappointment in his first year with the Falcons. He was banged up, so they'll give him another chance. Still, a long-term solution at this position is needed.

    8. Safety: Thomas DeCoud has struggled lately, so Atlanta could think about upgrading him.

    9. Wide Receiver: Roddy White will turn 33 in November, so Atlanta will have to find a long-term solution across from Julio Jones sometime soon.

    10. Cornerback Depth: Asante Samuel was released, so the Falcons will need to do something about their cornerback depth. Signed Josh Wilson and Javier Arenas

    11. Linebacker Depth: The Falcons must get deeper at linebacker.

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2014 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Paul Soliai, DT, Dolphins. Age: 30.
      Signed with Falcons (5 years, $33 million)

      Paul Soliai is a big-time run-stuffer who can also get to the quarterback. He can play in either the 3-4 or 4-3, so teams that run multiple fronts will love his versatility.

    2. Tyson Jackson, DE/DT, Chiefs. Age: 28.
      Signed with Falcons (5 years, $25 million)

      Tyson Jackson has turned his career around with Andy Reid. He still doesn't offer anything as a pass-rusher, but he put the clamps on the run rather well in 2013.

    3. Jon Asamoah, G, Chiefs. Age: 26.
      Signed with Falcons

      Jon Asamoah was benched in the second half of the season, but he had actually blocked rather well when he was in the lineup. His replacement, Geoff Schwartz, was just better.

    4. Devin Hester, KR, Bears. Age: 31.
      Signed with Falcons (3 years)

      The greatest return specialist in NFL history, Devin Hester proved that he's still dangerous by taking back a punt for a touchdown in 2013. He'll be 32 in November though, so it remains to be seen how much longer he'll be effective.

    5. Josh Wilson, CB, Redskins. Age: 30.
      Signed with Falcons

      Josh Wilson is one of the few Redskin defenders who didn't play terribly this past season. He's a mediocre starting cornerback.

    6. Javier Arenas, CB/KR, Cardinals. Age: 26. -- Signed with Falcons (1 year)
    7. Gabe Carimi, G, Buccaneers. Age: 26. -- Signed with Falcons
    8. Bear Pascoe, TE, Giants. Age: 28. -- Signed with Falcons

    Atlanta Falcons Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Jonathan Babineaux, DT, Falcons. Age: 32.
      Re-signed with Falcons (3 years)

      Jonathan Babineaux has been a force in terms of stuffing the run and getting to the quarterback, but he just turned 32, so his best days are behind him.

    2. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons. Age: 38.
      Tony Gonzalez, now 38, signed on with CBS to be one of their analysts, but there's a good chance he'll come out of retirement to play for a contender late in the year (Cris Carter did this with the Dolphins back in 2002). Despite his age, Gonzalez is still a threat over the middle and a strong end-zone target.

    3. Joe Hawley, C, Falcons. Age: 25.
      Re-signed with Falcons (3 years)

      Joe Hawley didn't start the first half of the 2013 season, but he took over the job in November and never looked back. He was solid, but unspectacular. Still, he's only 25, so there's plenty of room for improvement.

    4. Robert McClain (RFA), CB, Falcons. Age: 26.
      Re-signed with Falcons (1 year, $1.43 million)

      Robert McClain is a solid nickel corner. He'll only be 26 in July.

    5. Asante Samuel, CB, Falcons. Age: 33.
      Asante Samuel was very limited in 2013 because of a lingering thigh injury. Perhaps he'll play better when healthy next season, but his best days are obviously behind him; he turned 33 in January.

    6. Mike Johnson, OT, Falcons. Age: 27.
      Re-signed with Falcons (1 year)

      Mike Johnson was set to be the starting right tackle this season, but he was lost for the year in training camp with a fractured fibula.

    7. Cory Peters, DT, Falcons. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Falcons
    8. Thomas DeCoud, S, Falcons. Age: 29. -- Signed with Panthers (2 years)
    9. Peria Jerry, DT, Falcons. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Falcons
    10. Stephen Nicholas, OLB, Falcons. Age: 31.
    11. Garrett Reynolds, G, Falcons. Age: 27.
    12. Bradie Ewing, FB, Falcons. Age: 24.
    13. Chase Coffman, TE, Falcons. Age: 27.
    14. Dominique Franks, CB, Falcons. Age: 26. -- Signed with Ravens

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

    2016 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 11

    NFL Free Agents

    NFL Picks - Feb. 7

    2017 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 5

    2016 NBA Mock Draft - Feb. 2

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 15

  • Comments - Viewing Page 1

    Listen to all WalterFootball Comments

    Osiris105 (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 14 day(s) ago - hide
    This is the Falcons' best draft in years
    2    0 Reply
    @walter (Anonymous Poster)
    11 month(s) 19 day(s) ago - hide
    Atlanta doesn't need two safety's. Kemal and Dez are behind moore so the depth is pretty good. As long as the resign Lowery or a different safety we will be fine.
    2    0 Reply
    Abrown (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    @ATL Fan 

    I agree with what your saying. Worrilow might not be that good but he is still into his 2nd year and an undrafted free agent. Maybe Quinn can make something of him like he does all the linebackers the Seahawks have. I dont think bring any of those vets would be smart, maybe wait for some players to get cut. Maxwell might just go for the most money, he doesnt seem like he will come to Atlanta unless we r going to pay alot. I dont think id want him unless it was a 4yr, 20 mill type deal. He is a #2 corner so unless we can get a stud for cheaper he is the best option.

    0    0 Reply
    ATL Fan (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    Worrilow is pretty bad. Yeah, his tackles totals are nice, and he's always in the mix of the play... 7 yards down the field. He doesn't get down-field to attack the runner, he sucks in coverage, and he doesn't make any impact plays to make up for his shortcomings. I say resigning Spoon, bringing in another veteran (Geno Hayes, Brooks Reed, or Brandon Spikes), and drafting another ILB/OLB would be good.

    As for CB, I think Byron Maxwell will follow Quinn to ATL, playing outside with Trufant and moving Alford into the slot. Two physical shut-down corners outside, and a ball hawk with tackling ability in the nickle, yikes.

    0    0 Reply
    ATL fan (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    @Mr. Bitter 

    Thanks bruv.

    Also I retract my statement about RB being a top 3 need. With Shannahan as OC, Quinn as HC, and the ZBS being installed, the Falcons need a one-cut-and-go runner who is physical enough to take a hit or two. That just so happens to be what S-Jax is good at. An upgrade over Toilolo would be great.

    I still think Yeldon or Gurley would be a dream fit for this offense though. Both have excellent vision and would excel in the ZBS, both are atheletic enough to contribute to the pass game.

    0    0 Reply
    Abrown (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    Atlanta's Needs:

    1. TWO Pass Rushers!!!

    Atlanta needs two pas rushers. Massaquio has the ability to be a great #3 but he hasn't been given the chance and might not be a 10 sack guy. two pass rushers, one in free agency and drafting two guys is the best way to go. Biermann, Osi and Matthews will be gone so bringing in pass rushers is the most important need.

    2. 2 Inside Linebackers

    Worrilow isn't has awful as everybody thinks. Think he is in his 2nd year and an undrafted free agent. He has improved both seasons and is still learning. He needs a partner next to him and since Weatherspoon cant stay healthy u need a new one. Joplo is a back up, Shembo looked lost so drafting a guy lik Denzel Perryman would help alot. Even signing a guy like Bruce Carter would be nice if he isnt alot to sign.

    3. Running Back

    Since Turners last season we havent had a decent running. Jackson is great as a 2nd back and somebody to pound the run game with late in a game but we need a new back. Jaquizz cant handle the 20 carries, Smith is nice but at 29 years old he isnt long term. Freeman didnt show enough so drafting a bigger RB, Gurley or Yeldon is a great idea.

    4. CornerBack and Depth.

    Trufant is a star and will be a Pro Bowler if we find a pass rush to give him help. But besides Trufant, we need another cover corner. Alford is a slot guy and gets burned and flagged alot. We only have 3 cornerbacks signed so depth is needed. Might be time to sign a well known veteran to atleast hold the #2 spot down until somebody can take it.

    5. Tackle

    Idk if we all are just feeling confident in Lamar Holmes but we still need a Tackle. Sam Baker is trash and hurt tall the time. He should be cut. Holmes could be a stop gap but if we can draft a decent tackle in the 3rd or 4th to develop we need to. Depth is needed all across the oline but the insides have quality backups.

    6. Tight End

    We need a starting Tight End, plenty of young guys to take a chance on in free agency. Niles Paul should be cheap.

    0    0 Reply
    feedback from an ATL fan (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    1. Edge Rusher

    Obviously agreed.

    2. Two Linebackers

    Also agreed, hit the nail on the head. Hell, they could use 3 more linebackers.

    3. Two Safeties

    Nope. Look up Kemal Ishmael, he had a great season. Also, Dez Southward played very well when given opportunities. Then there's Moore who's one of their best players when healthy. Lowery was great to end the season, in particular against the Saints. He filled Moore's void well. Actually, safety was one of their best position groups on defense last season. If they bring back Lower, they're pretty set. Upgrades could be had, but they're certainly not a top need.

    4. <del>Center

    &lt;p>Wrong again, sorry. Yes, Hawley has missed time, but you've completely forgotten about James Stone. The UDFA was arguably better than Hawley. He replaced Konz, and immediately the offensive line was better, and he was a large part of the offensive line's mid-season turnaround. Even his offensive coordinator said he saved the OL in interviews. OT/RT is a bigger need, Holmes is good as gone and Carimi sucks.

    5. Tight End:

    Eh, Toilolo sucks but it's certainly not a bigger need than RB.

    6. Running Back

    Hands down one of their top needs, definitely top-3. Antoine Smith and Jacquizz Rodgers are free agents, and S-Jax is as good as gone. Freeman isn't any better than Quizz, really. A dangerous RB would put the offense over the top and provide balance.

    4    0 Reply
    Mr. Bitter 648 Posts (141 )
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    @feedback from an ATL fan

    I like the cut of your jib, Anonymous Poster who knows his sh*t about the Falcons.

    0    0 Reply
    Scott M (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide
    I agree with these for the most part. The falcons have to get tougher up the middle.  They also need to cut loose players that can't stay healthy including Moore and Spoon. I would move o line depth up a bit. They will be happy with brawly and stone at center but need a rt. I'm sure that Baker has played his last game for the falcons. 
    0    0 Reply
    zazzyjets 20 Posts (129 )
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide
    How in the world can you rate Tampa's receiving core at the same level as Atlanta's? The falcons receivers are so much more proven. VJ is good, but that is all they have.
    7    1 Reply
    Walter 1841 Posts (2409 )
    1 years 1 month(s) ago - hide
    @zazzyjets Mike Evans tho?
    2    1 Reply
    ericsorrells 1 Posts (0)
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide
    I understand SJackson is getting older, but he did have six TDs in the final seven games. ATL was throwing the ball as much as they could, and the o-line was terrible. If Freeman doesn't blow them away in camp, I think Jackson could be in for a good year - assuming no injuries, of course....
    0    0 Reply
    CDubb1545 15 Posts (1 )
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide
    &amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The Falcons didn't get a TE because they are going to run primarily 3 WR sets with HD, White, and Jones. They will run the ball out of the spread with an H-back. Jackson will handle goal line and short yardage but I expect the combo of Quizz and Freeman to work between the 20s. The Falcons got a steal in Hageman and once he learns the position, he is going to be a bull in china shop type of 5tech. Worrilow didn't get the protection he needed at times last year but he is a sure tackler and he has decent cover skills. Losing Spoon hurt but the guys missed him some last year as well. Overall, it will be tough to run on the Falcons and I think they will get a lot more sacks with more push coming from the front of the pocket. The Falcons make double digit wins easy in my opinion and they should win this division.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
    0    0 Reply
    andrew (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide

    Walter football please read this and tell me what you think.

    The falcons played so good toward the end of the 2013 season. They almost beat san Francisco and Carolina. If they had Julio Jones they would of been unstoppable and the would of beat those to teams. Still i can't understand why they didn't draft Eric Ebron, but if Tony Gonzalez comes back late next year they might have a chance to make a super bowl run.

    Spelling error in last one 

    0    0 Reply
    andrew (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide

    Walter football please read this and tell me what you think.

    The falcons played so good toward the end of the 2013 season. They almost beat san Francisco and Carolina. If they had Julio Jones they would of been unstoppable and the would of beat those to teams. Still i can understand why they didn't draft Eric Ebron, but if Tony Gonzalez comes back late next year they might have a chance to make a super bowl run.

    0    0 Reply
    abrown (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    We filled every need that Walterfootball said we had..how is that not a good offseason. I have to say i am nervous about Free Safety because its a hole that needs to be filled by either Southward or Lowery or Kemal but i loved the draft. We may have went overboard on linebackers though. Smallwood was a steal in teh 7th.
    0    1 Reply
    Kestrel Fan (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    Hageman &lt;em&gt;&lt;strong&amp;amp;gt;could&lt;/strong&amp;gt;&lt;/em&gt; be a steal here, but it will take a DL coach (like Brian Cox?) to light the fire within. I look for the Falcons to play him some at RE in their 3-4 and to play him at a 3 technique in their nickel and dime even fronts. He's got the "potential" to be comparable to JJ Watts. .... Southward is green but he's an athletic freak. He started playing football as a high school senior so he's got a lot to learn but he's got tons of upside (and YES - both he &amp;amp; Hageman also have a high bust potential too). Freeman looks like a beast in training, Allen will be a solid #3 or 4 corner. The four LB's they picked late fill a huge need and Shembo and Starr both have above average (for a LB) pass rush abilities. We'll see what the real grade this draft class is in 2016 or 17. ..... But combined with the free agent they signed a couple of months ago - they're definitely bigger and stronger on both sides of the ball.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
    2    0 Reply
    Fred Acton (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    "They will take a defensive lineman day 2." Mike Nolan is looking to size up on DL. Hageman (4-3), Soliai (4-3 and 3-4) at DT, Babineaux 3-4 DE and Peters 3-4 DE. You are so critical about depth with every other team and building depth where a weakness is, apparently to you drafting Hageman is a BAD MOVE? Yeah they have other moves, technically they upgraded already (Pascoe and Lowery) and there are still 5 rounds to go in the draft. This draft is deep. Hageman could have been considered Atlanta's BPA. Alright Walt.
    8    0 Reply


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