The Atlanta Falcons went into the 2013 season with the lightest front seven in the entire NFL, at an average of 258 pounds per player. That's colossal for you or I, but considering the average weight of the Ravens' front seven was 284 pounds, it was lightweight.
The Falcons suffered a rough 2013 season and finally decided to retool the defense, moving away from the light, mobile front sevens that have characterized the defense under Mike Smith and into something a little heftier. Per Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com, a former SB Nation scribe for the Eagles, the Falcons are now projected to have the 13th heaviest front seven in the NFL, a 19 position jump from a single year ago. The average weight up there is now 273.3 pounds.
That's a drastic change, and it points to the kind of defense the Falcons are trying to put on the field. This new-look Atlanta D, if all goes well, will be more effective against the run, more effective at gap control in general and hopefully more effective getting after the passer thanks to the big bodies up front. It won't necessarily be an immediately transformative, but it's a step away from the increasingly lackluster defenses of years past.
In case you were wondering, the Jets have the heaviest fronts at 284 pounds, while the Cowboys have the lightest at 262, which is still four pounds heavier than the Falcons averaged a year ago. Crazy.