Atlanta took a tepid strategy to the beginning of free company. As an alternative of creating a giant splash, the Falcons unfold out their sources with a number of under-the-radar signings. The cautious strategy may not result in a huge leap within the standings and will communicate to the low degree of confidence the group has in projected 2023 beginning QB Desmond Ridder.
Sufficient weaknesses stay on this yr’s roster for the crew to fret about because it finalizes a plan for the NFL Draft. Listed below are three areas of concern:
The Falcons didn’t give a lot consideration to edge rushers in free company, a curious choice. Free brokers Leonard Floyd, Markus Golden and Frank Clark stay unsigned, however the one transfer Atlanta made was re-signing Lorenzo Carter.
After rating thirty first in sacks (21) final season, it’s crucial the Falcons add contemporary expertise on the defensive position. The shortage of motion in free company could possibly be a sign of what path the crew is headed within the draft.
Within the draft, the category of edge rushers is deep sufficient for the crew to deal with the place within the second spherical with gamers Professional Soccer Focus graded among the many high 50 prospects: LSU’s BJ Ojulari (thirty fifth), Northwestern’s Adetomiwa Adebawore (fortieth) and Southern California’s Tuli Tuipulotu (forty eighth).
In his most up-to-date mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Falcons choosing cornerback Devon Witherspoon within the first spherical, nevertheless.
The Falcons drafted Southern California wideout Drake London eighth general in final yr’s draft, giving the crew one pillar to construct round at large receiver.
In free company, Atlanta signed Mack Hollins, however you’d be forgiven for not waking as much as the breaking information alerts on that one. In six seasons, he has 113 receptions for 1,a quarter mile.
Within the draft, Atlanta ought to think about Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt, the 2022 Biletnikoff Award winner for finest faculty large receiver. Per PFF, he’s the 77th-ranked prospect.
On the Nationwide Scouting Mix, Hyatt ran the 40-yard sprint in 4.4 seconds. He might spark an offense that already has glorious, younger items.
Free-agent signees Kaden Elliss and Tae Davis might be part of fixing the linebacking unit on a protection that ranked twenty seventh final season. In 2022 with the Saints, Elliss performed in a career-high 56 p.c of the crew’s defensive snaps. He ought to have an expanded position with the Falcons.
Davis is anticipated to have a lesser position after bouncing across the league for the previous 5 seasons. Per Falcons.com beat author Tori McElhaney, “The expectation ought to be that Davis is being signed to be a task participant on particular groups and supply depth at linebacker.”
Count on Atlanta to draft a linebacker able to filling an even bigger position. The Falcons clearly need assistance this this unit.