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Falcons free agency: What are Atlanta's biggest draft needs?

Now that free agency is entering its second phase for the Falcons, what are the team's top five needs.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We've sketched out this team's needs before free agency and during the first phase, but with Atlanta "winding down" their initial push, it's worth looking at the five needs the team will need to address in the draft, assuming they don't have any further surprises for us in free agency.

1) Linebacker

At this point, the Falcons seem unlikely to meaningfully address linebacker, a position where they have Paul Worrilow, Brooks Reed, Sean Weatherspoon, and perhaps Tyler Starr. They need an infusion of youth and athleticism here in the worst way, and while strong safety is certainly a major need as well, the team has a worrying lack of plus athletes at linebacker, period.

2) Strong safety

The Falcons are reportedly in on free agent safeties, and getting a veteran stopgap like Walter Thurmond or Reggie Nelson would obviously mean this becomes a lesser need. At the moment, though, the Falcons need to add another safety to the mix to compete with Robenson Therezie and Kemal Ishmael, at minimum, and they could use a high-upside young option.

3) Pass rusher

Perhaps this will be a linebacker, but even with re-signing Adrian Clayborn and adding the potent Derrick Shelby to the mix, the Falcons lack pass rushing options. Getting a player like Shaq Lawson early or Carl Nassib later would be a good way to add punch to the pass rush for years to come.

4) Tight end

The Falcons have been getting it done with stopgaps, veterans, and trades at tight end since Alge Crumpler left, which isn't ideal. Levine Toilolo is the only young tight end who got an extended look, and he didn't grab the job and run with it. A young, high-upside tight end would be a nice addition to this offense over the long haul, even if this class thins out quickly.

5) Guard

There are some intriguing guards in the mix here, the Falcons don't appear to have a long-term solution at either guard spot currently on the roster, and adding a young player would potentially solidify what already looks like a quality line.

What are your top needs?