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2017 NFL Draft: What roster hole won’t be filled in April?

The Falcons don’t have a lot of major holes, but they still have needs, and they won’t fill all of them in the draft.

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Falcons have enough draft capital to backfill some of the holes in their roster, however minor some of those holes may be. Even with a dearth of cap space, however, they’ll likely need to dip into free agency again or get creative with their current players to fill a couple of spots.

When I look at this roster today, I see the following positions missing:

  • An effective edge rusher
  • A penetrating, full-time defensive tackle in the mold of a Jonathan Babineaux
  • A top-flight blocking tight end
  • A starting right guard
  • A swing tackle
  • Third starting linebacker for 4-3 sets
  • Linebacker depth
  • Backup safety

The defensive and offensive line needs are the most urgent ones, and even snagging a capable rookie edge rusher and quality guard would make a massive difference for a very good football team. With six draft selections, though, you’re not going to get all of these above.

If I had to guess today, I’d safety depth is the spot least likely to be passed over at the end of the month. That’s because cheap veteran safeties are available as a fallback, and the team has a couple of options (Brian Poole springs to mind) to fill one or even two spots, if Kemal Ishmael ends up spending most of his time at linebacker. You could see the team look to replace Ricardo Allen at some point, but my gut no longer says it’ll be this year.

What position do you see Atlanta passing on?