I think, if we’re going with the nickel as the team’s true base set, you’ll see a grand total of two new starters in 2018, with a possible third depending on whether the Falcons are truly looking to replace Brian Poole or not.
The obvious positions for the Falcons to turn over are guard and defensive tackle. Barring a Dontari Poe re-signing, which is possible but feels unlikely, the Falcons will need a new defensive tackle next to Grady Jarrett. Guard, meanwhile, features a mix of a second-year starter in Wes Schweitzer who had his struggles in 2017 and a starter in Andy Levitre who would yield huge cap savings if the Falcons moved on from him, so it feels like a lock they’ll turn over one of those spots.
The other possibility, of course, is that the Falcons replace Poole. He’s a genuinely useful player, but he had his problems with coverage last season, and the Falcons might seek an upgrade in that regard either in the draft or free agency.
Still, that’s only two or three of a possible 22 players on offense and defense. This speaks to the overall strength of the team, which really does not have many starters it wants to turn over, and should be able to keep its nucleus together for at least one more season.
How many starters do you think the Falcons will turn over?