Its very early to be thinking about such things, but I’m very curious as to what position/s the Falcons will target highest in the 2013 NFL Draft. It’s probably a result of just having done so much draft preparation and draft recap, but I am fully locked into prospects for the 2013 season.
I think it is obvious that the Falcon’s most dire need will be to augment the pass rush. As has been chronicled in a multitude of locations, John Abraham is not getting any younger, Ray Edwards may not be the player we signed him to be, and all indications are that Kroy Biermann, Lawrence Sidbury and Jonathan Massaquoi are not much more than role players at this point. All of that is subject to change, but I think we all have a pretty good idea of what all of these players are capable of.
Defensive tackle also needs to have talent added to. Peria Jerry can’t be tossed aside quite yet, but the production that was expected when we drafted in the 1st round in 2009 simply hasn’t been there. Jonathan Babineaux was once the best DT in the NFC South, but like Abraham he is also aging. The brightest spot at the position is third year player Corey Peters. He truly came into his own in 2011, and while he wasn’t statistically a monster, he made his presence felt on every play and allowed his teammates to make the plays.
There are other positions that will certainly need to be addressed on the other line. We have answers at Right Tackle, Left Guard, Right Guard and Center this season with the addition of Peter Konz in the 2012 Draft, but there are question marks for the present and future. In 2012, we will need to see how well a healthy Sam Baker plays. If he is serviceable like he was from 2008-2010, the Falcons may not have to address the LT position immediately. If he can’t do any better, LT may be the number one need in the 2013 Free Agency period/Draft. In 2013 another interior line position will also need to be addressed. Todd McClure will almost certainly retire after the 2012 season, meaning Peter Konz will shift to center and the Falcons will need to look for a Right Guard, or Konz will stay at RG and the Falcons will have to find themselves a Center. I’m not completely ready to give up on Joe Hawley playing Center in the future, but we will have to see how it plays out.
There is also the matter of the TE position. After this past draft we can see that the TE position does not need to be targeted in the 1st round, but good quality players can be had in the 3rd and even 4th rounds. Tony Gonzalez certainly needs a replacement who is an excellent pass catcher, and the Falcons will almost certainly deal with the TE position in 2013. Someone needs to stretch the field up the seam of the defense.
There are some other positions that have some need for depth, but they are not nearly as glaring as other positions at this current time. The truth is, this is where the weaknesses appear in the Falcons roster in the offseason before the 2012 season; what seems a weakness now may become a strength as the season begins, or a strength may end up being one of the blatant weaknesses. Only time and actual game experience will show exactly what the Falcons’ needs in 2013 will be and where the need to patch up positions, of do a wholesale gutting of the depth chart at that position.
What do you think are the Falcons greatest needs to address in the 2013 NFL Draft?