The Atlanta Falcons have always had a propensity for drafting a specific type of player who fits their organizational mold.
Ever since Arthur Blank has owned the Atlanta Falcons, they have mainly drafted high-quality character players. While there is nothing wrong with this for many reasons, the time has come for them to move out of their comfort zone.
High character guys with leadership skills and high moral fiber are important for locker rooms and other aspects of the team.
If you look at it from the other end of the spectrum, perhaps a balance of this type of player, along with a player who brings some nastiness to the field and has an edge is just what the Falcons need.
the Falcons will either look to draft players that fill the team’s needs and/or the best available player on the board. They also need to bring some nastiness to the defensive side of the ball. When was the last time the Falcons had an intimidating and menacing defensive player?
While these players might be few and far between, it is difficult to think of any going many years back that the Falcons have ever had. The last player who instilled any type of fear from a defensive perspective might have been John Abraham, who is the Falcons all-time sack leader.
One might even argue that DeAngelo Hall also brought toughness and nastiness that we haven’t seen since.
The closest thing to a hard-hitting, nasty player the Falcons have on defense is Keanu Neal. This is a guy who’s played a total of four games the past two seasons.
Having met Neal in person and spending time with him, he’s genuinely one of the nicest pro athletes you can ever meet. The Falcons have a history, especially on the defensive side of the ball, of drafting super nice, soft players who lack a killer instinct.
Vic Beasley, Jr. is the perfect example. In 2016 when he lead the league in sacks with 15.5, he was thought to be the next dominating defensive player for many years to come. Additionally, he was an all-around nice guy who teammates and fans loved. He did not have the work ethic, passion, drive or heart to turn it up a notch and take it to the next level.
This is exactly what has plagued the Falcons defense for many decades. The lack of a playmaker with the killer instinct to take his game to the next level and become a dominating force. It all starts at the top with Arthur Blank. The consensus is that he has the final approval when it comes to drafting players.
Blank is getting up there in age and is one of the nicest owners in the NFL. The expression ‘nice guys finish last’ definitely applies to the football field. The Atlanta Falcons are in dire need of shaking things up for the 2020 season and shocking the football world.
The time has come for them to step out of their comfort zone and not only draft players of need and/or the best available players, but also at least seriously consider players who bring something different to the team.
This would include bringing an attitude on Sundays, having an edge, instilling fear in their opponent and being an all-around nasty player. Of course, this might be easier said than done. Only time will tell.