Atlanta Falcons free agents include significant upgrades so far


The Atlanta Falcons free agents signed so far in 2020 have been a pleasant surprise as well as an upgrade when looking at it from an on-paper perspective. They can be looked at collectively as an improvement, and should definitely bring some freshness and excitement to the fanbase.

Let’s give the Atlanta Falcons credit where credit is due, which is an anomaly as of late. This specifically pertains to general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Dimitroff has gone out and addressed areas of need in free agency early on.

From a needs perspective only and not including their contracts, Dante Fowler Jr. should be a significant upgrade over Vic Beasley Jr. There is no debating this signing. Fowler Jr. is a major upgrade. He is only 25 years old and the pass rusher is coming off the best season of his career so far in 2019 with the Los Angeles Rams.

Tight end Hayden Hurst who was acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens, is a first-round talent. Hurst had to play behind all-pro tight end Mark Andrews because of injuries his rookie season.

Financially, he will cost the Falcons much less than Austin Hooper as he is still playing on his rookie deal. Hurst is bigger and faster than hooper and should create many mismatches for opposing defenses if he is used properly.

He is not necessarily an upgrade over Hooper, but there should not be much of a dropoff in production if he is able to stay healthy.

The Falcons signed former MVP runner up Todd Gurley to a one-year contract. This is a major upgrade over Devonta Freeman, who was cut. Gurley is only 25 years old and has some injury concerns, specifically his arthritic knee.

If he can stay healthy, he should score double-digit touchdowns, as he led the league in this category in both 2017 and 2018. He was widely considered one of the best running backs in the league two years ago.

His knee is still somewhat of a concern, but he will have fewer carries which should result in him having close to 1,000 yards rushing and even more all-purpose yards. Gurley’s contract is a one-year prove-it deal, which is low risk and high reward.

The Falcons might still draft a running back in the 2020 draft, which would create a nice one-two tandem with Gurley.

There are still many needs that must be addressed with a lot of work to do on this roster. This will hopefully be addressed in the draft. There have not been many offseasons where the Falcons have acquired three desperately needed starters, as they have in 2020 so far.

These three players are highly regarded as productive starters in this league. Now the front office and coaching staff can focus mainly on the draft and address the other areas of need on the roster.

At this point, top draft priorities remain the interior defensive line, inside linebacker and starting cornerback. At least this gives Falcons fans some hope, as the team seems to have gotten off on the right foot out of the gate in free agency.

dark. Next. Pros and Cons of the Atlanta Falcons signing Todd Gurley

The upcoming draft is a whole different story. The anticipation awaits as to whether or not this will be a successful draft class in what could be this regime’s final kick at the can.