Before everyone starts complaining about the article title, Atlanta Falcons fans need to realize how crucial this draft is for the organization. The Atlanta Falcons do not have a lot of cap space and have many areas of need on the roster.
The Atlanta Falcons would be smart by drafting more offensive players than defensive players in the 2020 NFL Draft. In the first round, the Atlanta Falcons do need to take a defensive player that will be a difference-maker. After that, the Atlanta Falcons need to focus on offense.
The Atlanta Falcons offense does not have as many needs as the defense, but they need a left guard, third wide receiver behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, a tight end to replace Hooper, and running back to hopefully replace Devonta Freeman. Given the state of the Falcons roster, the team would benefit from drafting offensive players and having rookies learn from Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Alex Mack.
The defense does not have a lot of veteran leadership outside of Deion Jones and Grady Jarrett which they can add with the limited money they have for free agency. They need to draft the best pass rusher or defensive tackle available in the first round but fill the rest of the defense through free agency.
Rookies can always help but they will not drastically fix a defense. The Atlanta Falcons are in win-now mode and adding defensive help in free agency is the best option this offseason. Luckily for the Atlanta Falcons, they can load up their offense long term now and focus on defense the next two seasons.
After taking a defensive player in the first, the Falcons would be wise to take a tight end, running back, interior offensive lineman, and an extra-wide receiver. By taking those four positions by the fourth round the Falcons will be set on offense for a long time.
An ideal draft for the Falcons in this scenario would be:
- Round 1: Edge K’Lavon Chaisson
- Round 2: TE Cole Kmet and OL Matt Hennessey
- Round 3: RB Cam Akers
- Round 4 or 5: WR Devin Duvernay
With the remaining picks the Falcons can go the best player available or fill out their defensive depth. Cole Kmet is a great pass catcher, not the best athlete, and an average blocker which is exactly what Austin Hooper is.
This scenario would give the Falcons the best chance at a deep postseason run for the 2020 NFL season and set up the offense for long term success.