As we move closer to the NFL draft, there are some around NFL circles that believe General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and the Atlanta Falcons will do just that.
There seems to be an argument on what the Atlanta Falcons exact needs are among those in the media. However, I think it’s pretty clear that the Falcons should be looking to bolster their trenches on both sides of the ball not looking for another offensive weapon.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report recently wrote a column regarding the latest draft buzz for every team. It seems a lot of this is based off of rumors and news flying around the combine, and lets be honest, there’s a lot of rumors and news flying around the combine. It’s up to the person to decipher the smokescreen or not. I have never been, though I’d love to, but even still I’m not entirely too sure how news and rumors get going up in Indianapolis.
I was blown away by the needs described for the Falcons. Bleacher’s Matthew Miller stated:
"“Strong safety and guard were listed as the biggest pre-free-agency needs by a team source, but he added a play-making wide receiver could be hard to pass on at No. 14 if available.”"
We all know injuries swooped in and took Keanu Neal early last year. I understand picking up a strong safety at some point in this draft, knowing that Damontae Kazee is a traditional free safety/nickel cornerback. I can justify selecting a strong safety in the draft but not until late day two or day three.
I just can’t see it. It’s hard to see the team invest in another wide receiver in the first round. That amount allocated to that group would be tremendous. Julio Jones will be re-signed this off-season because he’s earned it and showed frustration last summer about his contract. Mohamed Sanu will be entering the fourth year of a five year $30 million contract. Calvin Ridley was the teams first round draft pick a year ago. It’s extremely tough to see the team going that same route in back to back years.
Guard was the position listed that I could see the Falcons taking in the first two rounds. The guard options don’t appear to be that great in the first round, especially with the defensive line talent this draft encompasses, but if they choose to go interior offensive line, I think most Falcons fans would understand and realize the importance of the pick.
That still doesn’t change my mind about the Falcons addressing their offensive line in free agency. I think they realize they have Brandon Fusco and Wes Schweitzer for another year or two and they bring in another veteran to compete with a back half of the draft rookie for the other guard spot. The goal here is to bring in as much competition as possibly to employ the best unit there is next season.
The Falcons needs are firmly entrenched in the trenches (no pun intended). That’s not to say these needs are wrong because they’re not except arguably the wide receiver claim. You’re naive to think they are bigger needs that the defensive line, interior and edge.