Every week, we ask you who you’d add to the Falcons roster from the upcoming opponent. Some weeks it’s absurdly difficult to pick one, and other weeks there’s really only a handful of options who would actually make the team better. This week is the latter.
That’s because this week’s opponent is the New York Giants, a team that has gotten to this low point not by injuries or mistakes in execution, but foundational mistakes in team-building. As Falcons fans we’re no strangers to that failure, but it’s still sort of astonishing to see the Giants ignore what’s right in front of their faces: Their roster has a ton of holes, and one of the biggest ones is quarterback, where Eli Manning has gone from good-but-overrated to just plain bad.
There’s still talent, though. There’s promising rookie Saquon Barkley, who has looked like one of the more frightening running backs in the NFL in his rookie season and seems likely to gash the Falcons on Monday Night Football. There’s Odell Beckham Jr., who despite his strain with Eli Manning is easily one of the five or ten best receivers in football. There’s talent here, and taking someone like Will Hernandez to hopefully lock down guard for years to come is tempting.
If I was thinking purely about the long-term, I might very well go for Hernandez. But I’m also thinking about the here and now, and that makes Olivier Vernon my choice, unrealistic strain on the Falcons’ cap be damned. Vernon isn’t an elite pass rusher but is a very good one, and would offer an immediate lift to an inconsistent and largely ineffective group of edge rushers for Atlanta. He’d make me feel a lot better about this defense, even if he doesn’t patch over every hole.
Who are you taking?