Atlanta Falcons need a linebacker in round one of NFL Draft


The Atlanta Falcons most glaring needs remain on the defensive side of the ball. In fact, they may be developing a logjam at the safety position.

That may help the Falcons alleviate their secondary issues for the time being, but the Atlanta Falcons need a linebacker more than anything. There is no question Deion Jones is the second-best player on the Atlanta Falcons defense.

His presence on the field makes the Falcons a better team alone. Besides him, Atlanta has Foyesade Oluokon and a whole lot of question marks. After signing Dante Fowler, the Falcons made it clear that won’t be a position they’re addressing in the draft.

But with a number of needs, the Falcons shouldn’t be willing to give up too much to get Isaiah Simmons. And it would be a mistake to draft a cornerback, namely Jeff Okudah while giving up assets. Atlanta can’t afford for its secondary to get any younger.

What does make sense, is waiting for a player like Kenneth Murray from Oklahoma or Patrick Queen from LSU. Either of those players, though young, would be an upgrade of De’Vondre Campbell who struggled mightily in pass coverage. In fact, following the Combine, Queen was rated as a potential year one starter. We know Dan Quinn loves linebackers from LSU.

He also likes linebackers with speed and who can get from sideline to sideline. That’s what Queen brings to the table. The Falcons can’t give up too much to get one player. They need to focus on quantity too, not just quality. In the secondary, Atlanta will have to find playing time for Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal, and Damonta Kazee.

They have also invested a couple of years in Isaiah Oliver and have Jordan Miller on the roster. Okudah doesn’t bring the necessary experience to the back end that Atlanta needs. In fact, the best way to help out an already thin group of corners is to improve your pass rush. If the Falcons can get Takk McKinley to play better and address the holes on the front seven, their serviceable secondary should be able to hold up.

Next. Falcons are betting long shot to win division and Super Bowl. dark

But adding rookies to an already young room does very little if the Falcons linebacking core and the defensive line have holes too big to overlook.