clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Atlanta Falcons have some major 2016 needs, and we're mulling them over

It's roundtable time, this time touching on the roster.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Carasik

2016 Team Needs: Linebacker, Pass Rusher, Interior Offensive Line, Wide Receiver, Strong Safety

Devonta Freeman made the Pro Bowl despite the Falcons not being able to block for him effectively the second half of the season. Just imagine how good the Falcons offense could be if Matt Ryan had the ability to step up in the pocket and the center didn't fumble the ball. Add in another target for Ryan to help take pressure off of Julio Jones and Jacob Tamme and the offense could hum a bit better.

On the other side of the ball, William Moore has shown that he needs to be replaced with his poor play and constant injuries. But more than him, Paul Worrilow and Justin Durant have been mediocre in the new defense. The Falcons would be better off with speed at linebacker. Also, with the defense being the league's worst in sack totals, it never hurts to add another good pass rusher to the mix. Atlanta's defense could easily go with any of these positions in the first round.

Dave Choate

Team needs: Linebacker, guard/center, tight end, wide receiver, pass rush

No surprises here. If the Falcons can dramatically upgrade their linebackers, add a quality player or two along the interior and at tight end and wide receiver, and pull down one more effective edge rusher, they'll be a hell of a lot better in 2016. Easier said than done, I know.

The DW

Team Needs: Linebacker, Center, OG, WR2

Honestly, I don't know how these four positions can't be considered the top ones. To me, any others are so far behind these needs that they don't even register. Paul Worrilow and Justin Durant just can't cut it in coverage, and our defense is consistently burned by running backs and tight ends. We need a fast, coverage capable linebacker to fill that gaping void. With all of the issues the Falcons had in snapping the ball this year, I can't imagine that sticking with Person/Stone/Gradkowski seems like a good plan to anyone. While Levitre and Chester did a decent job in the running game, they were revolving doors in pass protection - often allowing Ryan to get murdered on clear passing downs. While it's unlikely we replace both, we have to upgrade at least one of these positions. And as much as I love Roddy, he's clearly not the player he once was. Finding a good compliment to take the pressure off of Julio is going to be critical for getting this offense back on track.

Kendall Jackson

Team Needs: Center, guard, linebacker, pass rusher, safety, wide receiver

What don't the Falcons need? Matt Ryan needs interior protection and a center who can consistently snap the ball. It would help to have a legitimate threat across from Julio Jones, too. Defensively, the Falcons once again ranked at the bottom of the league in sacks. The linebackers were constantly victimized, and in the secondary, William Moore could be a cap casualty.

Allen Strk

Team Needs: Edge Rusher, Wide Receiver, Middle Linebacker

Center and safety would be included as well, but those three positions above were the most prevalent issues. A rotation of Brooks Reed, O'Brien Schofield, and Adrian Clayborn on the edge proved to be largely ineffective. With so many pass rushers available in free agency, it must be a priority after missing out on Derrick Morgan last year. The same can be said at wide receiver, as the list of quality number two receivers is staggering. While drafting another wide receiver would be wise, they can't waste a great opportunity to sign someone with upside such as Marvin Jones or Rishard Matthews. Middle linebacker should be addressed in the draft. Watching teams like Carolina and Minnesota invest top picks on linebackers should be a valuable lesson for all teams. It has played a significant role towards both teams developing into top five defensive units.

Matthew Chambers

Team needs: In no particular order, as they are all pretty big needs: Inside linebacker, center, wide receiver, tight end, strong safety, defensive end, and guard.