Atlanta Falcons: Front seven the best in the league?
Peter Schrager of the NFL Network said the Atlanta Falcons gave the best young front seven in the entire league and that they can be “lethal”
Everyone saw at the end of the 2017 NFL season just how dangerous the Atlanta Falcons defense could be. They started to take head coach Dan Quinn’s teaching to heart and became a dominant unit to close out the year and help guide them to the Super Bowl. Moving forward this side of the ball should only get better, especially along their front seven.
Already armed with NFL sack leader Vic Beasley, Jr. at outside linebacker, the team added former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe via free agency as well as UCLA edge rusher Takkarist McKinley with their first round pick.
These guys join defensive tackle Grady Jarrett — who recorded three sacks in Super Bowl 51 — as well as Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell at linebacker. That’s a pretty scary unit, and according to one NFL analyst, it could be the best collection of young talent in the league on one front seven.
"“I believe they’re the best young, front seven in football,” Peter Schrager said on Good Morning Football according to JuliaKate E. Culpepper of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I believe (the Falcons have) the most explosive offense in football. I am wondering if they don’t have that veteran presence in that front seven that can say, ‘Okay, big spot. I’m Dwight Freeney, here’s how it’s done.’ He’s not with the team right now.”"
The key word Schrager used is “young.” The Falcons defense surely has a lot of room to grow, but their youth really isn’t a disadvantage. After seeing Beasley break out in 2016, they have themselves a premier edge rusher. Jones also proved to be a game-changer in the middle of the linebacking corps. To top that off, they secured one of the best run-stuffers in the league with the acquisition of Poe.
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The sky is the limit for Atlanta’s front seven. Don’t be surprised if the word “young” is dropped by season’s end and they’re considered by some to be simply the best.