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Falcons offseason grade: Pro Football Focus hands out a middling mark

Nuts to PFF, you say? Read on.

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Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Focus hasn't liked much the Falcons have done this offseason, so it's no great surprise that their assessment of the team isn't fantastic. It's heavily dragged down by PFF's assessment of the draft class.

Here's a few relevant snippets from the article, which you should of course go read. The Falcons get a C overall.

One of the issues the offense faced during the second half of 2015 was a lack of production at wide receiver outside of superstar Julio Jones. Devin Hester’s turf-toe injury shelved his season after one snap, and White’s 43 receptions for 506 yards and one touchdown were all his lowest outputs since 2006. Sanu seems a pricey addition to the corps, considering his pedestrian production with the Bengals last year, and shouldn’t be relied upon as the sole source of supplemental production.

Again, Sanu's just been taking a beating in the media and amongst fans all offseason, and there's nothing he can do until the games start. I'm hopeful he'll have a great season and surprise a lot of people, but the skepticism is warranted given his production to this point.

Keanu Neal made Mike Renner’s list of worst picks on day one, and it’s difficult to imagine him upgrading the secondary in 2016 (even though the departed Moore had not graded positively for Atlanta since 2012), considering his average level of play at Florida against both the run and pass.

I'm an unabashed Neal fan. I think he fit a need, I think he's a player Quinn and company will maximize within the scheme, and I think he has the talent and athleticism to be one of the better safeties in the NFL down the line. Expecting a little less than that in 2016 isn't criminal, but oof, they're down on him.

While there is reason for playoff expectations in Atlanta this season, there is still more work to be done. Although they’d like to eventually move Alford to nickel corner, the thinned-out secondary needs immediate help. Without going back to the free-agent market, the Falcons will likely need to resort to giving a safety like Charles Godfrey or Kemal Ishmael snaps when in nickel formation—a less-than-ideal situation.

At least they gave Atlanta the playoff expectations. It's not clear whether PFF simply doesn't like Robenson Therezie and Akeem King or is unaware of their existence, but I don't think things are quite as bleak in the secondary as painted. The Falcons could still use another cornerback, true.

Personally, I'm more in the range of a B-. There's a lot of upside in this draft class and free agent class alike, but I'll be the first to admit that we don't yet know how any of these rookies are going to fare, much less Mohamed Sanu and Derrick Shelby. There's a lot of hoping going on, and while I appreciate the vision and think the Falcons will be better this year, I'm not going to get carried away with the praise just yet.

What grade would you give the Falcons?