Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans receiver Nelson Agholor (15) celebrates after scoring on a 17-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Offense shouldn’t be forgotten
The defense receives (rightfully) a lot of focus this offseason. But the offense, as good as it was last year, also needs to reload in talent. A few holes opened, especially when it comes to the skill positions. Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers are gone at the running back position; the same fate for Harry Douglas at the wide receiver positions.
Sophomore Devonta Freeman will take over in the backfield and the switch to a zone-blocking scheme will help him tremendously.
However, he still needs help by his side and Georgia’s Todd Gurley would be the perfect complement.
The former Bulldog is a real enigma: He could be picked within the top-10 or he could fall to the second round due to his torn ACL suffered last November.
All it takes is one team willing to take the risk of drafting him, if it is really a risk. The running back is insanely talented and comparisons with Adrian Peterson flourished.
If Gurley is gone by the time the Falcons pick, the consolation prizes aren’t bad either. Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, if he is available too, could be a steal in the second round. He set records after records with the Badgers in 2014.
Boise State’s Jay Ajayi is probably the best all-around running back of this year’s draft. Ajayi can pound a defense, he is a natural runner with great instincts and is tough to bring down. He can also be dangerous as a receiving option.
Miami’s Duke Johnson is proven to be an explosive and productive player; watch out for him.
Clive Walford could be a good surprise. The former Hurricane is still raw, but he has all the physical characteristics to be successful.
Julio Jones highlights the receiving depth chart; Roddy White is still hanging around — but that’s all. The Falcons have to bring in more help for Matt Ryan. The additions of Leonard Hankerson, Jacob Tamme and Tony Moeaki are not enough.
Talent is definitely here at the receiver position, but it is unlikely that the team pulls the trigger this high in the draft. However, Dimitroff can work something out and snatch White’s replacement. USC’s Nelson Agholor, if he makes to the 42nd pick, could be this guy.
The franchise also needs a deep threat outside of Jones. Miami’s Phillip Dorsett as well as Ohio State’s Devin Smith would be perfect in this role. They both possess great straight-line speed and could free up some space for other receivers.
Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong is an interesting prospect due to his insane catching ability, but some areas of his game still need to be improved.
At the tight end position, only Minnesota’s Maxx Williams seems to be a game-changer in this year’s NFL Draft and he will be certainly picked during Day One.
However, Miami’s Clive Walford could be a good surprise. The former Hurricane is still raw, but he has all the physical characteristics to be successful in the professional league. Blogging Dirty’s Freddie Boston wrote on Walford.
Michigan’s Devin Funchess could also be in play for a spot in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.