The Atlanta Falcons came into this year with an understanding that it was important that they contend, lest Arthur Blank decide to dynamite what would otherwise be a franchise that underachieved two years in a row. Now facing cap difficulties, sitting at 1-5, and counting down the weeks until those big changes come, the Falcons have one thing to look forward to: Very good draft position.
I hate to even bring this up in the run-up to Week 7, but honestly until the Falcons start winning games—if they do—the fact that they’re in line for a top five pick is perhaps the most interesting thing about them. That’s doubly true when you consider that whoever inherits this team would have a franchise quarterback, stellar wide receivers, and a young and interesting offensive line in place heading into a draft that has a few noteworthy defensive studs.
Right now, the Falcons appear to be picking 4th. If that were to hold, they’d have a pretty good chance at Ohio State’s insanely good pass rusher Chase Young, gifted LSU safety Grant Delpit, imposing Iowa pass rusher A.J. Epenesa, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, and others. They’re certainly going to need to add talent on that side of the ball given this year’s dismal showing and the likelihood that they’ll be letting at least a couple of starters from this year’s squad—Vic Beasley is the likeliest, while De’Vondre Campbell and Tyeler Davison also make the list—go to other teams.
If the Falcons do end up with a top five pick, they’ll have their best shot in years to add a true impact defender to the group. There are so many weeks left—and so many changes yet to come—that it’s not worth getting excited about that just yet.