What's goin on, yall? I'm a Falcons fan in Panther territory. Been a fan since the early 90's. Here are a few thoughts of mine about how to fix our team.
As every couch GM on the planet knows (but for some reason our GM ignores), you build a team inside-out. We should sink some serious money into a free agent DE heading into his prime, such as Greg Hardy or Michael Johnson. Get rid of Osi. Also, our first-round pick needs to be a DE (and has needed to be for many years now).
I wouldn't be disappointed if we re-signed both Peters and Babs, but we need a bigger DT as part of the rotation also. The main reason for our crappy tackling (besides DeCoud) and run defense is the lack of a monster tackle. Opposing tailbacks pick up too much momentum if they aren't touched until reaching the second level of a defense, which often happens because our smaller DT's are pretty good at getting penetration and often overrun the play. Clog up the middle, and it makes everyone's life easier, especially our young LBs and our guys in the secondary that are constantly having to make tackles that already should have been made up near the LOS. This could be a not-that-expensive FA or our 3rd round pick.
Everything else on defense will take care of itself if we:
1. Put big money and our top pick into the pass rush
2. Bring in someone the size of Grady Jackson to clog up the middle
Yall are gonna hate me for saying this, but I really like what the Saints do with their line-- alternate competent player with good player (decent LT, good LG, decent C, good RG, decent RT). This saves money only paying 2 linemen a hefty salary (guards are also cheaper anyway), and it means that everyone on the line has some help right next to him. Having two good guards does wonders for your run game and lets the QB step up in the pocket, meaning if our tackles get beat off the edge, those rushers have to then cut back upfield to get back near Ryan.
I say sign the best G on the free agent market (Wade Smith?) and use our 2nd round pick on another G. Part ways with Blalock. Keep Hawley at C, Holmes at RT, and bring in a decent veteran backup for Baker (because the man WILL get hurt).
Overall, it's really not that much. A blue-chip FA and our top pick would be the new DEs, plus a big man in the rotation at DT. On offense, sign the best guard available on the FA market, plus our 2nd round pick for the other guard position. Part ways with Blalock, Osi, Asante, and S-Jax, and extend Roddy, and it would be very manageable.