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The top 5 2008 Draft needs for the Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons need a few things after the 2007 season went awry.

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Look, the less said about 2007, the better. Between Michael Vick getting into legal trouble, Bobby Petrino leaving notes in the lockers of players as he fled the state, and Apple adorably trying to get into phones, it was a weird, lackluster year.

Petrino’s in Arkansas, which means he can’t hurt us any longer. I’m sure he’ll have a long, fruitful coaching career there and won’t get into a motorcycle accident with a mistress or something crazy like that. Instead, we’ve got Mike “Smythe” Smith and Thomas Dimitroff as the newest coach and GM duo in town, and they’ve got a herculean task in front of them boosting this roster.

The team is all set at defensive end, where John Abraham and hopeful future stud Jamaal Anderson are set, but they could use help just about everywhere else you can think of. Let’s break down the list.

#1: Quarterback

The Falcons may very well not address this with their first pick, but it’s a glaring need.

Whether they end up with Matt Ryan or Brian Brohm, the team has to add an option at quarterback, or they risk winding up in the same situation as 2007. No one needs that much Joey Harrington in their lives.

#2: Left Tackle

Wayne Gandy was 36 last year and I’m not convinced Renardo Foster is the answer, so the team needs to go out there and get a left tackle to protect their new quarterback. I just hope they choose someone with long arms who can remain healthy for a long, long time.

#3: Wide Receiver

Roddy White was pretty good in 2007, especially considering the guys throwing him the football, but I’m not convinced he’s poised to become the best receiver in franchise history or anything like that. Even if he did get there, the team isn’t exactly swimming in receiving options, and should be looking to get help in this class.

#4: Safety

Lawyer “Attorney” Milloy has been great his whole career, but he’s going to be 35 years old, and Chris Crocker isn’t coming back. Atlanta needs to inject some youth and talent at the safety spot immediately to help out promising young cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall (already an elite talent and lifelong Falcon) and Chris Houston (who always knows where the ball is). I bet they’ll make it a Day 2 priority.

#5: Defensive Tackle

I like Jonathan Babineaux quite a bit, young as he is, but Rod Coleman and Grady Jackson are gone and there’s no obvious replacements to be had, though the Falcons have signed a bunch of potential options this offseason. I’m sure Atlanta’s planning to either address the position early this year or dip into 2009’s potentially strong class, which features standout Mississippi player Peria Jerry.

What would be your top needs?