Atlanta Falcons: 5 Burning Pre-Draft Questions

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Dec 8, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws a pass during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Can draft turn Falcons into playoff contenders?

Maybe this question is a little optimistic. The Falcons haven’t looked like playoff contenders in each of the past two seasons, but a good draft could give them a shot.

It certainly helps that the NFC South has underachieved so much.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers remain a long way off, and will continue their rebuild in 2015. The New Orleans Saints are heading the other way due to their salary cap mess. Jimmy Graham is no longer a Saint, and their defense was just as unreliable as the Falcons’.

The Carolina Panthers are the best team in the division right now. They became the first team to retain the NFC South title in 2014, but did so with a 7-8-1 record. The Panthers are the team to beat in the NFC South, but the Falcons can close the gap with a strong draft.

To get to the playoffs, the Falcons’ defense has to get off the field more often then they were doing so in 2014. By building on the pass-rush and secondary, while improving the run game on offense, the Falcons could strike a nice balance throughout the team and make a run at the NFC South title in 2015.

Next: Atlanta Falcons: David Cobb answer at running back?