clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Adrian Clayborn's role in 2016 will be primarily defensive end, not defensive tackle

New, comments

He'll spend more time at defensive end, less time at defensive tackle for the Falcons.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you were wondering how the Falcons were going to use Adrian Clayborn this year, stop wondering. Right now.

Clayborn had spent most of his time in the NFL as an end before last year, when Quinn, Richard Smith, and Bryan Cox saw fit to feature him more as a defensive tackle. He was a useful player on the interior, sure, but putting him back in his most natural role should allow Clayborn to rush the passer more often from the edge, likely opposite Vic Beasley much of the time. Derrick Shelby should grab time at both end spots and on the interior, playing starter's snaps while moving all over the formation, and the Falcons look very strong at defensive end despite only having four true ends currently under contract. Malliciah Goodman will pick up the scraps, assuming there aren't signings and draft picks between now and the end of August.

If this makes Clayborn a more effective pass rusher, especially with limited pass rush help likely to come between now and the start of the season, it's very sensible. I'm liking how this defensive line is shaping up.