Falcons

Reviewing the Falcons Offseason Before the 2015 NFL Draft

After finishing 6-10 in 2014, the Falcons hold the 8th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. With that pick, Atlanta needs to find a dominant player who can make a difference right away. New head coach Dan Quinn, former defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, has stated, “I can’t wait to build a similar championship environment right here in Atlanta.” The fans in Atlanta have waited years for a Super Bowl, and hopefully Quinn can be the first coach in Falcons history to deliver it. With that being said, Atlanta has been making cuts and acquisitions to change the culture of the team. Here is a run down what has happened this offseason.

Cuts

  • WR Harry Douglas
  • RB Steven Jackson
  • LG Justin Blalock

Re-signed

  • DE Kroy Bierman
  • RB Antone Smith
  • QB T.J. Yates
  • WR Eric Weems
  • S Charles Godfrey
  • K Matt Bryant

Free Agent Acquisitions

  • TE Tony Moeaki
  • TE Jacob Tamme
  • DE/OLB O’Brien Schofield
  • DE Adrian Clayborn
  • CB Phillip Adams
  • WR Leonard Hankerson
  • DE/OLB Brooks Reed
  • OLB Justin Durant
  • G Mike Person

Players that signed Elsewhere

  • S Dwight Lowery
  • CB Josh Wilson
  • RB Jacquizz Rodgers
  • CB Robert McClain
  • WR Harry Douglas
  • DT Corey Peters
  • OLB Sean Weatherspoon

My Rankings on Free Agent Acquisitions

  1. Justin Durant
  2. Brooks Reed
  3. Adrian Clayborn
  4. Jacob Tamme
  5. O’Brien Schofield
  6. Philip Adams
  7. Leonard Hankerson
  8. Tony Moeaki
  9. Mike Person

 

 

Top 5 Positions to Target in the Draft

  1. Outside Linebacker/Defensive End – Atlanta is in dire need of a pass rusher. A first round pick should be used on this position. Arthur Blank needs to make sure the front office is in a unanimous decision because without a front four, the other seven defenders are more susceptible to big plays.
  2. Running Back– When Devonta Freeman was able to enter games in his rookie year, he was explosive. Freeman’s best play was his 31-yard rushing touchdown against the Saints in week 16. Freeman needs another running back to complement him in the backfield. This year’s draft class is full of good running back prospects, so it would be a mistake if the Falcons decided to not draft one.
  3. Wide Receiver– Harry Douglas was Atlanta’s third receiver in 2014, and he was released. The problem with releasing Douglas is that he was very durable and had many more targets then other third wide receiver’s in the NFL. Atlanta signed Leonard Hankerson to a one-year deal, but he did not do much in his stint as a Redskin. Just like the running back class, there are also many receivers in this draft.
  4. Left Guard– After 7-years, the Falcons will finally have to invest in a left guard. The departure of Justin Blalock was a smart move by the organization because Blalock was starting to go downhill as a lineman. Without a true left guard on the roster who can actually start, Atlanta could use a mid to early round draft pick on this position.
  5. Safety– This position could be looked at two different ways. On one hand, the Falcons already have safeties William Moore, Dezmen Southward, Charles Godfrey, and Kemel Ishmael. On the other hand, only William Moore has true in-game experience, having played for more than a year. Atlanta should use a late round draft pick to invest in a safety to develop him for the future.

2015-2016 Schedule (Times Yet to be Determined)

Home Away
Carolina Carolina
New Orleans New Orleans
Tampa Bay Tampa Bay
Philadelphia Dallas
Washington NY Giants
Houston Jacksonville
Indianapolis Tennessee
Minnesota San Francisco

 

Check out Mock Drafts 1.0 and 2.0 to see who I have the Atlanta Falcons selecting. The last mock before the draft will come out soon so keep checking Sportstalkatl.com for further information. Will the acquisitions and cuts help or hurt the team? Which prospects will the Falcons target? Will Dan Quinn change the Atlanta’s losing ways? Comment below and tell us your thoughts Atlanta fans!

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