I am somewhat of an internet addict, and have been surfing the web finding information about the upcoming NFL draft, and what "others" are saying about the Falcons....
From CBSSports.com Speed could be final ingredient:
The thing that showed up big in that loss, and for much of the season, was the Falcons' need for more speed -- especially on offense.
The Falcons need to open up their passing game. With Matt Ryan, they have the quarterback to do so. But they have to get him speed to open things up down the field.
On defense, they have to be faster off the edge with their pass rush. The nickel corner position has to be better as well. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/14849366/falcons-needs-speed-could-be-final-ingredient
From ESPN: .....looking at Atlanta’s roster, it's not hard to figure out “explosiveness’’ translates into a pass-rusher (John Abraham’s getting older and doesn’t have much help), a speed receiver to take the passing game to the next level and a speedy running back who could provide a nice complement to Michael Turner.
Pass-rushers like Missouri’s Aldon Smith, Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan and Georgia’s Justin Houston could be prime targets, and there also are rumblings Clemson’s Da'Quan Bowers, once considered the top defensive end in the draft, could be falling fast due to concerns about injuries and disappointing workouts. Any of those guys could land in Atlanta. But they also could land elsewhere in the NFC South. Tampa Bay (No. 20) and New Orleans (No. 24) are likely to be in the market for pass-rushers.
If the elite pass-rushers are gone, it’s not hard to picture the Falcons shifting things a bit and looking hard at wide receivers,
From fantasy football experts rotoworld.com : Backup RB Jason Snelling was extended a second-round tender as a four-year veteran. Even if his free agency ends up unrestricted, he's not a good bet to land a starting job on the open market. … The Falcons are expected to move on from injury-prone five-year vet Jerious Norwood. … Wide receiver and tight end will be early-round priorities in this month's draft. With Tony Gonzalez in a steep decline, the Falcons desperately need a second playmaker to pair with Roddy White. Slot receiver Harry Douglas isn't the answer. … Jack-of-all-trades Kerry Meier, considered Brian Finneran's successor, is ahead of schedule in his return from last summer's ACL tear. He won't be a fantasy factor in 2011.
Every team needs difference makers, and the Falcons currently have two, one on each side of the ball. It’s Roddy White on the offense and John Abraham on the defense, and neither has much company. Not only was White the No. 1 receiver on the team with 1,389 yards, it wasn’t even close – Michael Jenkins was the next-best wideout with 505 yards. Tony Gonzalez still has the name, but a 9.4 yards-per-catch average was easily the worst of his career and subpar for a receiving tight end. Adding a prime No. 2 option for Ryan is important. The situation is even more dire on defense, where Abraham had 13 sacks and the next best total was four by Babineaux. Kroy Biermann applied his fair share of pressure, but couldn’t come up with the finishes (three sacks), and the Falcons had just 31 sacks as a team despite a soft schedule. Atlanta has more than its share of solid pros; this offseason it’s time to roll the dice and try to add some home-run hitters. Statistical curiosity of 2010: The Falcons were fifth in scoring offense despite being 16th in yards. On defense? They were also fifth in scoring despite being 16th in yards allowed.
From ESPN: The Falcons’ top pick is No. 27 overall. Here are the last seven players taken in that spot:
2010: CB Devin McCourty (Patriots)
2009: RB Donald Brown (Colts)
2008: CB Antoine Cason (Cardinals)
2007: WR Robert Meachem (Saints)
2006: RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers)
2005: WR Roddy White (Falcons)
2004: OLB/DE Jason Babin (Texans)
Possible "Big Board": From www.Walterfootball.com
1. Justin Houston, DE, Georgia
2. Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
3. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
4. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
5. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
6. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
7. Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
8. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
9. Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
10. Randall Cobb, WR/KR, Kentucky
11. Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
12. Aaron Williams, CB/FS, Texas
13. Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
The Falcons will probably take the best defensive end, wide receiver or offensive tackle on the board, but Mark Ingram and Kyle Rudolph are two interesting names. If Atlanta is concerned about Michael Turner's durability, it could certainly select Ingram at No. 27. Rudolph makes sense for obvious reasons, but would the Falcons eschew greater needs for a slightly better player?