clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Falcoholic mailbag roundtable series: Grady Jarrett, Keanu Neal, or Deion Jones?

Our staff answers your questions round table style.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to a new series at The Falcoholic, where we field your questions and answer them round table style

For our first question, TurboDebo is looking at the future of the Falcons’ young defensive core, particularly Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, and Grady Jarrett, and asks, “If you could only keep ONE and the other two couldn’t be resigned, who would you pick?”

This is a tough one, but our staff did our best to answer it.

Yikes, can’t they just split the money that was set aside for Vic Beasley? This is a tough one with no wrong answer. Neal and Jarrett are undoubtably some of the best at their respective positions, Jones has changed how many teams look at the middle linebacker. He’s such an impact player that shows up in nearly every aspect of the defense that I can’t imagine letting him leave. - Matt

It’s been a really long time since the Falcons have had a top-tier linebacker and Deion Jones fits the billing. He’s got elite speed and has already proven to be one of the best coverage linebackers in the league. Neal and Jarrett are also fantastic but may be slightly easier to replace of the three, if only slightly. Honestly, I hate this question and it makes me want to punch things. - DW

This is a very good question, TurboDebo! I would personally keep linebacker Deion Jones, and here’s why. Middle linebacker to be specific, is a very important position for reasons that occasional football fans likely won’t understand. The middle linebacker essentially is the quarterback on defense, and is tasked with stopping the run, and additionally dropping into coverage. Deion Jones’ also must communicate with the guys in front of him, calling out adjustments. As much as I love having Keanu Neal and Grady Jarrett on the team, I would currently take Deion Jones. - Evan Birchfield

Those three are undoubtedly the best defensive players on this team, and we saw just how unruly this defensive unit became when two of the three went down to injury last year. If you twisted my arm and made me pick one to keep it would have to be Deion Jones, and that’s mostly because of positional value. Outside of maybe defensive end, middle linebacker is the most important position on defense in today’s NFL. and if you have an elite player at that position you’ve set yourself up with a foundation for having a good unit. - Adnan Ikic

I’d take Debo, but it hurts to do it. Jarrett is such a huge standout on a defensive line with plenty of question marks that it seems hard to pass up taking him, and we all saw what the safety corps looked like early on after Keanu Neal went down. But Jones has perhaps the highest upside out of the three of them, and the defense simply isn’t the same without his closing speed, ability to create turnovers, and coverage skills. If you can only keep one, I think you have to take a deep breath and keep Deion for the long haul. —Dave Choate

This is a tough one, because all three guys are incredibly talented. But I’ve got to go with Deion, for his speed and athleticism and playmaking abilities. We saw what a blow it was to the defense when he went down to injury last year. The whole unit is stronger with him on the field. - Jeanna