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Falcons may use compensatory picks on new blocking TE, returner

We may have an idea of what positions the Falcons won’t have to look for in free agency.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons have a surplus of draft capital in this year’s round of picks, and we’ve got an early indicator of where those picks might go.

ESPN’s Vaughn McClure reports that the team is considering using its fourth and fifth-round compensatory picks on two specific spots on the roster.

One of the reasons the Falcons were happy to receive two compensatory picks in the fourth and fifth rounds is because it gives them a chance to address two position of needs via the draft: return specialist and blocking tight end. The staff dissected both spots extensively earlier in the week during the combine.

This hints at two things. One, the team may not bring back Logan Paulsen if this is the case. The veteran filled in admirably as a blocker, occasional pass-catcher and mentor to Austin Hooper, but they may wish to go younger and a hair cheaper here (well, maybe by like $100,000).

Two, with Justin Hardy perhaps out the door, the team is moving on at its kick returner spot and wants someone to man the job who can hold it down specifically. The team has one open spot for a receiver, assuming carrying six is in the cards, and this could be a hint the team doesn’t bring Hardy back.

Part of me wants the team to angle to trade for more trench talent with one of those comp picks, but if the team has done its homework here, they may wish to infuse the roster with as much draft talent from this class as possible. That’s always the most cost-effective way to build a team, after all.

So the plans slowly begin to reveal themselves for April. We’ll see what the team does to address these two spots here soon.