How do the Atlanta Falcons get back to the Super Bowl?
Offensive Outlook — Guard
Ben Garland is a pending free agent. Andy Levitre could be a salary cap casualty (cutting him would save the team $7 million). Wes Schweitzer was mostly underwhelming in his first year as a starter. The Falcons don’t even know what they have in rookie Sean Harlow, as he was a healthy scratch for every single game this year.
I understand that Schweitzer and Harlow are young and the team wants to give them a chance to develop, but this team is built to win right now. If they want a young guy at guard, go draft Quenton Nelson (in the unlikely event he should he fall to the 26th pick in the draft the Falcons now hold) or Will Hernandez or Billy Price.
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Otherwise, they should look at free agent targets like Andrew Norwell, Justin Pugh, Jack Mewhort, Matt Slauson, or Josh Kline, depending upon if they feel they can afford the contract and the player is a good scheme fit.
Derrick Coleman is a nice story (a legally deaf player in the NFL) and a great special teams coverage guy, but he is below average at best as a fullback. Atlanta really missed Patrick DiMarco this year. I’d let Coleman go and either sign Zach Line or Anthony Sherman in free agency or get Dimitri Flowers or Khalid Hill in the draft.
Power Running Back
I’ve been harping on this one for a while now. DeVonta Freeman is listed at 206-pounds, Tevin Coleman at 212 and Terron Ward lists at 200. The Falcons need a big back who can convert third-and-short and punch it in from the goal line. Somebody like Bo Scarborough or perhaps even Ryan Nall would be good draft picks for this purpose.
Taylor Gabriel and Justin Hardy could both leave in free agency, as could Andre Roberts, leaving Atlanta very thin at this position after Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. A receiver with return skills would be perfect, as Roberts was very disappointing in that area this year. Perhaps De’Anthony Thomas would be worth taking a shot at in free agency.