The Atlanta Falcons made smart and quick moves at the start of free agency, addressing top needs on the roster at tight end, defensive end, and running back.
So this leads us to the question now, “where do the Falcons need to shop in the upcoming NFL draft and remainder of free agency?”
The Falcons released Desmond Trufant two weeks ago in order to save money. Now his position remains a void they’ll need to fill. This position looks to be their main priority for the NFL draft. Prior to signing Dante Fowler, the Falcons really needed a reliable edge-rusher, but now the cards are in Fowler’s hands and he’s experienced enough.
Right now, the Falcons will look to Isaiah Oliver as their cornerback starter. He is entering his third season in Atlanta. There are plenty of top prospects in this year’s draft class to count on. With the No. 16 pick, they should seek C.J. Henderson out of Florida who will be immediately ready to start for Atlanta.
If for some reason the Falcons don’t look at a cornerback for the draft, then they’ll add depth behind Oliver by signing a veteran free agent. But, the Falcons have been jumping on top starters in free agency, so if this is their top need right now they’ll seek the best of the best even if it’s a rookie.
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The Falcons will need to do what they can in the draft to load up their defense since the offense is already looking solid.
Re-signing Tyeler Davison at defensive tackle was a smart move. However, backup John Cominsky still has a lot to prove coming into his second season
The Falcons already have enough depth on their roster with defensive end and defensive tackle. What they’re lacking is a pass rusher. Before making their free agency picks, the Falcons were linked to K’Lavon Chaisson at LSU as their first-round pick. No shot he will be around if the Falcons want a CB first, but there will be other strong pass rushers to choose from in the later rounds.
Interior offensive line:
With De’Vondre Campbell gone, a starting linebacker leaves a gap, specifically at left guard, in the roster. However, Dimitroff has shown great praise in backup Foye Oluokun. Oluokun does have the potential to replace Campbell as a starter, but he will need to prove himself in the offseason. Atlanta could still use the depth to secure the linebacker position.
It won’t be an early pick but somewhere in the draft, they’ll grab a rookie tailback. Todd Gurley was a solid pick up by the Falcons and great endorsement, but his knee problems could affect playing time. Behind Gurley, the Falcons have Ito Smith and Brian Hill, as well as Craig Reynolds. But it’s always smart to continue to build that position as players slide down the depth chart.