Atlanta Falcons: Three risky moves Falcons could make in 2016 NFL Draft
Avoiding pass rush on day one
The Falcons need to improve the pass rush. That has to be the No. 1 priority.
Sure, a coverage linebacker is important, as is safety and possibly some more interior help along the offensive line. But without a pass rush, you can forget about it. Just about any quarterback in the NFL can move the ball if given time in the pocket.
This isn’t a deep class for edge rushers, and the best opportunity to find their guy could be in the first round. There will be opportunities to find other coverage linebackers later in the draft: Su’a Cravens could be a second-round target. Cravens will either be lined up at linebacker or safety in the NFL — either would work in Atlanta.
Deion Jones is another name to watch on day two at linebacker. Jones has blazing speed to give chase and has the ball skills to break up passes and make interceptions in coverage. There are possibilities at this position beyond day one.
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As for the pass rush, a player like Shaq Lawson would make a lot of sense for Atlanta. If Dan Quinn can find someone to pair with Beasley rushing off the edge, the defense will be poised to make a giant leap in 2016.