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Taking Stock Of The Falcons' Depth Ahead of the 2014 NFL Draft

Is the Falcons' depth better or worse than we thought it was?

Scott Cunningham

Ahead of the 2014 NFL Draft, the mothership has put out a new story considering the team's depth and overall success in the draft. Even if you're inclined to violently disagree with the premise Jay Adams is putting forward, it's a thought-provoking read.

Basically, Adams points out that the Falcon's 1st through 3rd round picks from 2008 to 2013 have a higher average games started number than any other team in the NFL. Those picks average 34.6, while the next closest in Detroit has 29.7. Given rounds 1-7, the Falcons are fourth in the NFL with 15.6.

What does that mean? It means that contrary to the reputation Dimitroff and the front office have developed, the players he has picked have been contributing at one of the highest clips in the NFL. At least to a certain extent. It means the Falcons have retained picks and, in general, put them to use, which is something half the teams in the NFL cannot say.

I do feel the need to add some context to this report, however. Not all starts are created equal—I am looking at certain players along the defensive front, here—the Falcons' numbers are heavily skewed by a handful of durable, terrific players selected high and injury replacements do factor in here. That first point is especially important, because someone like Garrett Reynolds or Peria Jerry grabbing many starts and playing at a generally average to below average level isn't a tremendous endorsement for Dimitroff or the coaching staff's development abilities. For every Kroy Biermann, there's a corresponding Akeem Dent, is what I'm getting at.

The timing of this article interests me, because the draft is less than 36 hours away. If the Falcons are intent on moving up, it's not a bad time to point out stats like these to the fanbase.

As I said, it's at least thought-provoking. What's your impression?