There’s always the possibility, however slim, that the Falcons go into 2020 with their current group of backs. They could keep or re-structure Devonta Freeman, re-sign Brian Hill, and go four deep with players this coaching staff is familiar with, with all the varied skill sets that would entail. With all their other holes, I’m not sure it’d be the worst idea in the world.
That’s not what I expect, though. I think it’s much more likely that the Falcons jettison Free, weigh bringing back Hill to serve as an early down option in the early going, and draft a back.
Fortunately for the Falcons, this is looking like a good class in which to do so.
Guys like Jonathan Taylor and UGA’s DeAndre Swift figure to go in the 1st or 2nd round, but after that there’s a number of options in Thomas Dimitroff’s preferred sweet spot who could make sense. These include Florida State’s Cam Akers, Boston College’s powerful Andre Dillon, and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins, all of who could be available in the 3rd round or later. The Falcons are surely checking in on all three and more, if they haven’t already.
This is the way Atlanta has always done business, and I believe Dimitroff when he expresses interest in mid-round backs. Remember, Freeman was a 4th rounder and a great one before injury derailed his career a bit, while Tevin Coleman was a 3rd rounder and guys like Hill, Ito Smith, and Jacquizz Rodgers all came later. The Falcons at least find useful backs in the middle rounds, and with a deep stable of backs and the chance to find a gem in a pretty solid class this year, they’ll almost surely dip back into that well.
I know that’s disappointing for Taylor and Swift enthusiasts, but as long as the Falcons get a player who can take on a major role alongside Ito, Qadree Ollison, and maybe Hill, I’ll be happy.