The Atlanta Falcons addressed a glaring need by selecting Desmond Trufant in Round 1 of the 2013 NFL Draft. Now, with eight picks remaining, there are still a few positions in serious need of upgrading.
Defensive end was a popular choice in mock drafts. Alex Okafor initially became a favorite to land with the Falcons. Linebackers were also popping up in pre-draft discussions. Arthur Brown looked like an agreeable candidate to many. Both positions should be in the running for their second selection.
Let's look at the Falcons needs after Thursday night's opening event, and which players could be heading to Atlanta in the coming rounds.
Osi Umenyiora was a great addition in the wake of John Abraham's departure, but he's more of a temporary band-aid than a permanent fix. Kroy Biermann is productive on the left side. Cliff Matthews is starting to win over the coaching staff, and Jonathan Massaquoi has promising potential. That's not an elite corps in the front line, though.
Okafor is still available, along with notable names like Tank Carradine, Margus Hunt and Damontre Moore. Carradine and Hunt shouldn't last until the end of Round 2. You have to expect them to fly off the board early Friday night. Okakor and Moore are the two most likely to be available.
The Combine numbers for Moore caused a bit of a drop off in stock. He was still one of the toughest defensive ends in the SEC, though. His off field concerns might deter Thomas Dimitroff. Okafor would be could be a nice situational pass rusher.
Stephen Nicholas struggled in 2012. Akeem Dent was mediocre for the most part. Brian Banks is a great story, and we're all hoping he can become a solid contributor. Overall, though, there isn't a lot of depth here. If Sean Weatherspoon can be cloned, I think they're set. Let's investigate that scenario.
Arthur Brown and Jamie Collins are two promising names for Round 2. And there's are Manti Te'o...right? Right? Never mind.
Brown projects to be a high second-round pick. Collins could be an answer when Atlanta's pick rolls around.
Sam Baker and Lamar Holmes. Those are your two starting tackles for 2013, and after that point, the depth chart is rather barren. Mike Johnson will be in contention, presumably, for starting right tackle.
The Falcons could use depth. Terron Armstead is an intriguing potential starter down the line, but after that you're mostly looking at projects. Dave's Vinston Painter pick probably isn't any good, though.
This position is set for 2013, assuming Tony Gonzalez stays healthy. The depth is shaky, though, and there's no heir apparent on the roster, unless you really love Chase Coffman.
Zach Ertz is still on the board. Gavin Escobar is still on the board. And so on. There's clearly talent available if the Falcons want a tight end, but it's a question of whether or not they'll make it a true priority.