It’s time for the weekly tradition of poaching an entire position group from the week’s opponent. In weeks past, especially when the Falcons were struggling, there was usually an obvious choice on the opposing team’s roster.
With the Buccaneers, however, things are a little tougher. Tampa Bay has been one of the most ineptly run franchises in the NFL for going on two decades now, as their Super Bowl victory fades further and further into the background. The current regime has drafted a handful of true stars—Mike Evans is a stud, Ali Marpet is very good, and Chris Godwin is underrated—but largely have utterly failed to build a contending team. While the Falcons, Panthers, and Saints have been splitting division titles and deep playoff runs over the past decade-plus, the Bucs haven’t even made the playoffs since 2007 and have just three winning records since then. The addition of Bruce Arians has not, in year one, made an appreciable difference in their fortunes.
Still, we press on. Are there any groups worth stealing?
Guard is probably the most obvious choice here. The Falcons haven’t gotten a ton out of James Carpenter and Jamon Brown besides even play, and their depth is down to Wes Schweitzer and Sean Harlow with Chris Lindstrom still working his way back. Ali Marpet is a very good starter, Alex Cappa is at least decent, and Aaron Stinnie and Earl Watford are solid depth. With how good Lindstrom is going to be, however, even this isn’t a slam dunk choice.
Linebacker is another interesting group. Shaquil Barrett has 11.5 sacks on the season, Devin White is an extremely promising player and athlete who would fit right in on Dan Quinn’s defense, and Lavonte David and Carl Nassib are solid, if not the players they were supposed to be.
Overall, though, you’d be hard-pressed to find a position group you’d swap outright for the Falcons. I don’t know how Jason Licht still has a job.
Who are you taking?