Atlanta has not been the home of many truly great pass rushers over the years, though the tide is starting to turn. That’s most evident when you look at the assemblage of talent here, and the fact that this talent is begin recognized by national outlets who have plenty of shiny pass rushers to ooh and aah over.
The Ringer’s writeup will make you appreciate just how many promising young pass rushers there are in the NFL today, from Joey Bosa to Myles Garrett. It will also make you feel warm and fuzzy that they specifically called out the Falcons for having one of the most promising young pass rushing trios in the entire league. The Falcons have done a solid job of building up depth on the interior, but it’s Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley and Grady Jarrett who promise to be the stars (and hopefully the building blocks) of the next great Atlanta defense.
It doesn’t get talked about enough that the Falcons defense features three of the league’s most promising young pass rushers: Grady Jarrett, the 25-year-old defensive tackle who notched four sacks and 39 pressures (eighth among DTs) last year, holds things down in the middle, while 22-year-old defensive end Takkarist McKinley (who recorded six sacks, two forced fumbles, and 34 pressures as a rookie) and 25-year-old Vic Beasley bring heat off the edge.
Beasley’s numbers dropped off last year due to a move to weakside linebacker, but he’s set to move back to his more natural defensive end spot—where he recorded an NFL-best 15.5 sacks in 2016—giving the Falcons the chance to feature one of the most dominant pass-rushing groups in the NFL.
With a capable cast of reserves working with them, the Falcons do have a chance to have an above average pass rush in 2018, at minimum. Beasley needs to bounce back, Takk needs to build on his successful first season, and Jarrett needs to stay the course and take advantage of a handful of opportunities he didn’t a year ago. Just try to remember the last time the Falcons’ defensive line had so much potential, and were recognized for that. `