As bad as the Atlanta Falcons defense was in 2018, most of that must be attributed to injuries. When you lose two pro-bowlers as well as your defensive quarterback, it is hard for any team to overcome that and be successful.
As mentioned earlier, the front office did a great job of adding depth on the defensive side of the ball. Adding guys like Tyeler Davison, Adrian Clayborn, Ra’Shede Hageman and drafting John Cominsky to the defensive line will go a long way up front.
On the back end, drafting Kendall Sheffield and Jordan Miller to go with Kazee, Oliver and Trufant will provide a great mix of competition. Hopefully coaches Jerome Henderson and Doug Mallory will be able to elevate the level of play from that group.
All of that said, there are several starters on the defensive side of the ball that could get injured and the Falcons would still be fine.
Let’s start up front with the defensive line. I hate to say it, but Vic Beasley could suffer a season ending injury and the Falcons would be fine given the new-found depth up front. Obviously, we all hope we see 2016 Vic Beasley and that he resembles a player making nearly 13 million but if he is he does not, there is enough depth with Clayborn, Means, Odum and Cominsky that the Falcons would be fine.
Moving to the heart of the defense with the linebackers. We all know Deion Jones MUST be on the field; if he were to suffer another injury like he did in 2018, the Falcons would be in trouble. However, De’Vondre Campbell could be lost to injury and the Falcons would be able to move on. Bruce Carter, Kemal Ishmael and Foyesade Oluokun add good depth to the middle of this defense.
Lastly, as we move even further back on the Falcons defense – the secondary. Lots of moving parts on this one. As we learned in 2018, losing Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen are a no go for the Falcons success. However, losing Desmond Trufant should not be that big a detriment. Pre-2016 injury, Tru looked like and played like a Top 5 corner in the NFL. Post 2016 injury and he has played like an average corner on a bad team.
We all agree that, like Beasley, if Tru could somehow get back to his 2016 self, the Falcons would be that much better. However, at this point and based on what we have seen in 2017 and 2018, should Tru suffer another unfortunate injury, the Falcons have enough corners to be able to overcome that type of loss.
Overall, lets hope that injuries do not hit the Falcons like they did in 2018. We know at some point that an injury is going to happen, but we can all hope that they won’t be severe enough for guys to miss a prolonged period of time or end anyone’s season.