A panel of experts over at ESPN -- Louis Riddick, Mike Sando and Field Yates -- got together and ranked each team on a scale of 1 to 100 to determine future power rankings for the next three seasons (Insider access required). The Falcons came in at No. 18, so right around the middle of the pack
They weighted each category to account for a percentage of each team's score. The overall roster accounts for 30 percent of the score. Quarterback is 20 percent, the team's draft success is 15 percent, the front office is 15 percent and coaching accounts for 20 percent of the total score.
Atlanta, based on these criteria, came in at No. 18 with a score of 65.9. Their scores for the different criteria that factored into the final number are as follows:
- Roster: 60
- Quarterback: 76.7
- Coaching 66.7
- Draft: 61.7
- Front office: 66.7
... while he has just one playoff win in Atlanta, he is a steady presence under center. He has completed north of 66 percent of his passes in each of the past four seasons. Expect him to be even better in 2016 and beyond as he works with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
The low point, according to Louis Riddick, is the defensive roster composition.
Dan Quinn is trying to exert his influence over that side of the ball in terms of both player acquisition and scheme. It'll all be a moot point unless the Falcons can figure out a way to acquire better talent/depth to rush the passer off the edges in what has become a pass-happy league.
Mike Sando notes that one thing that could change for the Falcons is the front office personnel, i.e. Thomas Dimitroff.
Will Blank stay the course heading into the team's new stadium, set to open for 2017, if the Falcons fail to meet expectations this season? How long does the current front office have after Blank changed its structure in 2015?
The Falcons' score puts them third in the NFC South. The Carolina Panthers, unsurprisingly, rank first with an overall score of 84.7, placing them at No. 3 in the NFL. Coming in second in the division was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who ranked 17th in the league with an overall score of 67. The New Orleans Saints were tied with the Detroit Lions at No. 19 in the NFL with an overall score of 65.7. Needless to say, the Saints were dead last in the NFC South.
Your thoughts on these rankings?