Although it’s a little premature to call head coach Dan Quinn’s first NFL Draft a success, it is difficult to not be excited about the prospects and the sharper outlook on the team at this point.
Quinn has stressed since his first day on the job that he wants the Atlanta Falcons to play ‘fast and physical’ and the draft selections certainly fill this criteria. Some draft analysts touted the Falcons 2015 draft class as a home run:
Today we will take a look at a few lessons that were taken from this outstanding draft class:
Pass rush has improved
It seems that the team is going into the season with outside linebacker Vic Beasley as the primary pass rusher. The 6’3, 246-pound former Clemson Tiger is going to make a reasonable transition to the league.
Although his natural ability to get to the quarterback is a given, he’s going to have to get used to facing offensive lineman who weigh around 320 pounds for 16 games a year. That said, having Beasley on the roster automatically makes the Falcons better on defense. He is truly a treat to watch.
Plenty of talent at RB
Running back Tevin Coleman will form a trio with fellow backs Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith to carry the ZBS. With that committee, there is no ‘lead’ back although there are many who feel Coleman will be the starter come Week 1. Keep an eye on the battle throughout the offseason.
As stated in my draft notes prior to the draft, this class was going to have Quinn’s imprint on the team. We saw a mixture of versatile players to players that are raw but will be molded by Dan Quinn and this coaching staff.
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Collins essential to secondary
Second round draft pick Jalen Collins is going to be a vital component to the secondary this year. At 6’1, 203 pounds, Collins has the size to cover the Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin of the NFC South and any other big body receiver.
Collins is raw and will take some time to come along. However, I expect the later the season goes on, the more and more we’ll see from Collins. The trio of Collins, Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford will definitely catch the attention of offenses around the league.
Garrett a late-round steal
The football gods were looking out for the Falcons in the fifth round. It’s not often that a fifth-rounder prospers, however defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has a chance to be the one gap penetrator Quinn was looking for.
Jarrett is disruptive and at times he’s irritating to offensive lineman, which is exactly what we want. Expect coach Quinn to put Jarrett and Ra’Shede Hageman as well as Paul Soliai and Johnathan Babineaux in positions to cause havoc.