Atlanta Falcons defensive depth took another hit this week
The Atlanta Falcons lost two key pieces this week as both Jack Crawford and Adrian Clayborn were signed by the Titans and Browns respectively.
The offseason for that Atlanta Falcons was going fairly well. Adding a young player like Dante Fowler to the defensive line as well as the talents of Todd Gurley and Hayden Hurst seemed like the Falcons were poised to make some noise again.
Now, with the losses of Clayborn and Crawford, they have to address even more depth questions on the defensive line. Clayborn was a huge part of the Falcons defense resurgence last season. He may not have popped off the stat page, but he certainly did on tape.
Losing both Crawford and Clayborn means that the Falcons now have to replace more than 1,600 snaps on defense when you add in the loss of Vic Beasley.
The Falcons have made it clear that defense is going to be their goal come this month’s NFL draft and maybe they had planned on losing those two on the defensive side of the ball. Neither Crawford nor Clayborn announced any type of offer from the Falcons, so this may have been part of their plan all along.
They will have to depend on Deadrin Senat, Austin Larkin, Steven Means, and John Cominsky to fill those areas. Not an ideal situation once you get past the starters of Grady Jarrett, Takk McKinley, Allen Bailey, Dante Fowler, and Tyeler Davison.
Senat, Larkin, Cominsky, and Means took a total of 132 snaps in 2019. Means spent the entire year on injured reserve and Senat was only active for a handful of games; which is odd for a young guy that head coach Dan Quinn was extremely high on just a year earlier.
Whatever plan general manager Thomas Dimitroff has for the 2020 NFL draft, let’s hope he is able to execute it better than he has in the past and that he can draft at least three defensive starters and add quality depth pieces.