What it was not, however, was a mandate. Mike Foster of Bleacher Report has a thoughtful story arguing that the loss is going change the draft philosophy for the Falcons. Thoughtful, as I said, but I vehemently disagree.
Why? Because the Falcons clearly shouldn't be looking at the draft like this:
The Falcons' main concern is definitely secondary depth. Chris Owens was torn apart by the Packers, who utilized five-wide sets to take advantage of Atlanta's weakest area.
Atlanta needs more talent to play nickel and dime defensive back positions. Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes make up what should be considered out of the better starting corner tandems in the NFC, but behind that there isn't a lot of hope. Drafting a fine-tuned and quick defensive back should be one of Atlanta's highest priorities.
I've said this many times and I'll say it again: Chris Owens and Dominique Franks will be fine. Owens is at minimum a handy, physical nickel back, while Dominique Franks has the potential to be more than that. I'm all for continuing to improve depth, but a first round cornerback would be a giant mistake with the Falcons having Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson starting and playing well.
I do agree the Falcons should be looking at safety, where Rafael Bush and Shann Schillinger are relatively unproven backups to the talented duo of . But if the coaching staff believes in their backups, I'd be comfortable not expending picks there, either.
Also, while I'm as worried about Michael Turner's future as anybody, I wouldn't place running back as the third need on our list. Maybe Thomas Dimitroff would disagree.
So while I respect what Foster is saying, and I get that the Packers game unveiled some weaknesses, the brain trust is still trying to build the best Falcons team it can for the long haul. Being reactionary based on a single game won't accomplish that.
What is the top need for the Atlanta Falcons going into the 2011 NFL Draft?
Secondary (40 votes)
Defensive end (216 votes)
Linebacker (11 votes)
Wide receiver (70 votes)
Running back (8 votes)
Offensive line (27 votes)
Love. Because love is all you need (25 votes)
397 total votes