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DE is the top Falcons draft need, per Falcons fans

The fans have spoken.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

We’re days away from the draft, and so it’s time to get your final thoughts on the team’s biggest needs. With our latest FanPulse poll, we did just that, and the results were pretty predictable, if in direct opposition to what many analysts have been writing.

Falcons draft poll

That’s a pretty resounding answer, and it’s still sort of shocking to see how large the disconnect between the team (which has talked a lot about tackles, defensive tackles and cornerbacks), the media (which has pretty much zeroed in on those same three positions), and fans. Defensive end has been my primary area of concern for months, and almost half of our representative sample of Falcons fans feel the same way.

Why? The Falcons have talent at defensive end, but Vic Beasley is coming off the worst year of his career and is a free agent in 2020. Adrian Clayborn and Steven Means are both here on one year deals. The only long-term starter is Takk McKinley, who has the talent to be a top-shelf player but hasn’t been on a consistent basis just yet. If the team doesn’t add talent via the draft in a quality class, they’re going to be forced to do so with their dollars and picks a year from now, and likely with a lot more urgency given the number of impending free agents, especially if Beasley and McKinley don’t take steps forward this year.

In second place was tackle, which is impossible to argue against given that the Falcons plan to starter former swing tackle Ty Sambrailo at the moment, and that was followed by “Other” (DT is one likely answer), and then by cornerback. If corner winds up being the top pick, there are going to be a lot of angry fans.

Where do you stand?