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Who Are The Building Blocks For The Atlanta Falcons?

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Considering the future.

Rob Carr

The Lions game is looming, but with the future of this team very much in the balance, I wanted to ask a question about the future of this football team, since the future is very much on our minds at the moment.

Who are the building blocks of this Falcons team, going forward? I'm not talking purely about elite talents, because there's a relatively short list of those on this Falcons team. I'm considering players who are already very good, have a ton of potential or would fit as starters or rotational pieces in the years ahead. I'm not considering players who by virtue of age or declining skill may not be Falcons by the time the new stadium opens up in 2017, though you may feel free to do so if that fits your definition of a building block.

Essentially, these are the players I think are guaranteed to remain here for the short-term, and either have proven their worth already or could blossom into quality starters down the line.

QB Matt Ryan
RB Devonta Freeman
WR Julio Jones
LT Jake Matthews
C Joe Hawley
RG Jon Asamoah
DE Ra'Shede Hageman
DE/DT Corey Peters
DE Jonathan Massaquoi
ILB Paul Worrilow
ILB Prince Shembo
CB Desmond Trufant
CB Robert Alford
FS Dezmen Southward
SS William Moore
S Kemal Ishmael
P Matt Bosher

That list is heavy on rookies, but there appears to be genuine talent in this rookie class, enough that I'd consider the guys listed potential pieces for the future. Ryan, Julio, Matthews, and Trufant are the no-brainers, while guys like Hawley, Freeman, Asamoah, Worrilow and Alford just need to stay healthy and grow in their roles to be extremely useful pieces for 2015 and beyond, regardless of who is in charge of this team.

There's not enough here for a great team, obviously, but the Falcons are not barren of talent. That will become critically important if the Falcons do elect to change course on their coaching staff and perhaps front office, because you attract quality candidates not just with dollars and autonomy, but with the core of a good team. The Falcons will need a few breaks, especially with the rookie class, but there's enough here to intrigue some, especially with Ryan in place.

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