Are Atlanta Falcons The Best Team In The NFC South?

2 of 2

Sep 27, 2014; Clemson, SC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Marquise Williams (12) is brought down by Clemson Tigers defensive end Vic Beasley (3) during the second quarter at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons ready to rise up

The Falcons needed to desperately address a defense which ranked dead last last season.

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) is brought down by Seattle Seahawks defense during the second quarter in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The addition of head coach Dan Quinn was a step in the right direction, and they added some solid pieces in free agency. Linebackers Brooks Reed and Justin Durant aren’t sack machines, but they will help bolster the unit.

Quinn believed the Falcons ‘nailed it’ in free agency, but it was the draft where they hit a home run. Not only did they stock up on talent, they also addressed a number of needs.

The first two picks, edge rusher Vic Beasley and cornerback Jalen Collins, fit the Seattle Seahawks mold Quinn is looking for on defense. The Seahawks dominate with their speed to swarm to the football, and these players bring these traits to Atlanta.

Defense wasn’t addressed again until the fifth round, but GM Thomas Dimitroff found a steal in defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. He happily traded away the team’s sixth round selection to pick him up.

On offense, explosive running back Tevin Coleman was selected in the third. He is capable of hitting a home run each time he carries the football, and will give the Falcons’ attack a new dimension.

Justin Hardy will find a home as a slot receiver. He could become a go-to player when the Falcons are in need of moving the chains on third down.

On offense, Atlanta ranked eighth overall in 2014, finishing fifth in passing offense, but struggled on the ground, ranking 24th. Expect the run game to rise up this list with the addition of Coleman teaming up with Devonta Freeman, who I believe will make a jump in year two. 

More from Blogging Dirty

The Falcons aren’t going to suddenly become a top-five defense, but they now have extra help to climb off the bottom of the rankings.

As an all-round team, the Falcons are heading in the right direction and have every chance of winning the NFC South next season.

The latest odds from Bovada gives both Atlanta and Carolina a 2/1 chance of winning the division, while New Orleans and Tampa Bay drift at 9/4 and 15/2 respectively.

Are the Panthers the team to beat? Until they are knocked off number one, they are. But are they the best team in the NFC South? I’m not so sure.

With Dan Quinn in charge and after a strong draft, the NFC South’s best team might just be the Atlanta Falcons.

Next: Which Falcons rookies will make an impact from day one?