Atlanta Falcons have many priorities and needs come draft day
With so many needs on the roster for the upcoming season, The Atlanta Falcons draft must be nothing short of a major success for the upcoming 2020 season and beyond.
The Atlanta Falcons draft in 2020 must be conducive to success on the field, make no mistake about it. This could very well be the final straw for Thomas Dimitroff, Dan Quinn, and the entire coaching staff – they are out of excuses.
The main areas of focus for the Falcons should be at the TE, C, DE, LB and CB positions and not necessarily in that order. Easier said than done, right?
It is extremely difficult to completely nail it on every pick. Let’s be realistic about it. The Falcons will have three picks in the first two rounds and have seven picks in total. Out of those seven picks, it is expected that at least three to four of them play a major role in the team’s success on the field in 2020.
It was announced this week that the Falcons will let TE Austin Hooper test the free-agent waters. As painful as this might be, it is the right decision from a financial perspective. The Falcons are way too cash strapped and cannot afford to pay him 10 million dollars per year. There are just too many pressing overall needs on this roster.
Whether or not they draft a TE in the mid to late rounds or roll with the punches and hand the starting role to unproven Jaeden Graham, remains to be seen. With the 16th pick in the draft, they should be targeting one of the three top DE and/or LB pass-rushing specialists.
At the least, this pick has be a defensive player who can have an immediate impact. Anything else will be disappointing, to say the least. There should be no offensive players drafted in the first two rounds at all. The first two picks at least have to be high-impact defensive players.
Almost every defensive position on this roster requires help. Offensive players, including the offensive line, should be drafted starting in the third at least. One of these picks has to be Alex Mack‘s replacement at center. Another one of these picks should be Hooper’s replacement at TE.
Strong-side LB is another defensive position that should be addressed in the draft. With De’Vondre Campbell hitting free agency and Foye Oluokun the only true strong-side LB on the roster, this is a major position of need.
There is not a huge dropoff with Oluokun from Campbell, as he has shown some upside. Depth is still clearly lacking at this position.
If the Atlanta Falcons decided to double up on pass rushers with their first two picks, this will fill a massive hole. Vic Beasley, Jr. will not be back and Takk McKinley’s fifth-year option will not be picked up. He will be playing on the final year of his rookie contract.
McKinley has been somewhat of a first-round bust who cannot stay healthy and stay on the field.
The Falcons can also use some depth in the secondary at the CB position. If they decided not to draft for that position, then either a trade or a free agent signing for a proven veteran should be made.
The Atlanta Falcons definitely do not need to trade up in the draft to get a player they have their eye on. If anything at all, they should trade down and acquire more picks. There are so many upgrades needed in many areas of this roster with not much cap space at all to do it.
They will have to draft wisely, get creative with the cap space, and once and for all nail it and draft high impact defensive players who can contribute from day one….specifically get the opposing quarterback and put him on the ground!