Dallas Turner, Falcons among Bleacher Report’s worst player-team fits

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Middle Tennessee at Alabama

After signing Kirk Cousins in free agency, the Falcons signaled to the rest of the league that they see themselves as contenders. The offense could use another receiver, but most of the questions lie on the other side of the ball.

The first and third levels, in particular, have some glaring holes. The Falcons could use proven commodities at both the corner and edge positions. It’s not to say that young guys like Arnold Ebiketie, DeAngelo Malone, Zach Harrison, Clark Phillips, and Dee Alford can’t take massive steps in their respective developments, but adding more would go a long way for a team with championship aspirations.

The Falcons are expected to add a premier defender with their top draft pick.┬áMost recently, it’s been Dallas Turner and Laiatu Latu as the most popular prospects going 8th in mock drafts, but Falcons fans shouldn’t rule out Quinyon Mitchell, Terrion Arnold, or even Byron Murphy.

For much of the offseason, Turner has been the consensus pick for Atlanta because many consider him to be the top pass rusher, and the Falcons have an obvious need for one.

However, Bleacher Report isn’t so sure of the fit, but it’s not for the reason you may think.

The scheme fit is there. So is the need. And the talent. So, what’s the problem?

Expectations.

From the moment Kirk Cousins arrived in Atlanta, expectations for the Falcons in 2024 changed. This is no longer a team that just needs to improve. They are now the favorites in the NFC South and need to make the playoffs.

With precious little around him, Turner will be expected to immediately become Atlanta’s No. 1 edge-rusher. It’s a position that carries a fairly steep learning curve, and the Alabama product isn’t a can’t-miss prospect a la Myles Garrett or Nick Bosa.

Atlanta needs a better pass rush, but Turner would be better served falling a bit farther in the round to a team where he’d have some Year 1 help.

Woof, let’s dissect this one.

The schematic fit is there. The Falcons need a pass rusher, and Dallas Turner’s ceiling is astronomical, but the fit isn’t right because Atlanta’s pass rush is that bad and will rely heavily on a top 10 draft pick?

News flash, most teams expect and rely upon top 10 draft picks to be critical pieces. Now, I understand where Bleacher Report is coming from to a certain extent.

Rookie pass rushers have a difficult time becoming immediate impact contributors, and this class doesn’t have a Myles Garrett or Nick Bosa, who are some of the few rookies that have been studs from Day 1. Dallas Turner, Laiatu Latu or any other prospect won’t be the fix-all solution for the Falcons pass rush.

That’s why I’ve been pounding the table for Terry Fontenot to go out and get a proven commodity at the position. However, just because the task is tall doesn’t mean the Falcons shouldn’t draft Dallas Turner.

This is a wild reason to claim the Falcons and Turner are a terrible fit.

Photographer: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

 

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