Despite veteran additions, Falcons still relying on youth in 2023

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Armed with a Brinks truck of cap space, the Falcons were able to participate in free agency without limitations for the first time in a long time. It netted a slew of high-priced veterans, among others, that completely reshaped the look of the roster.

On the first day of free agency, Terry Fontenot moved quickly to bring in three defenders, one at each level — Jessie Bates III, Kaden Elliss, and David Onyemata. Even before that period began, Fontenot re-signed Lorenzo Carter to bolster the edge unit. Over the course of several weeks, the Falcons would swing deals to acquire Calais Campbell, Mike Hughes, Jeff Okudah, and Bud Dupree.

However, with all of these veteran additions, it can be lost in the whirlwind that the Falcons will still once again be relying on youth in 2023.

The bulk of the offense is relatively inexperienced. Outside of Cordarrelle Patterson, Chris Lindstrom, Jake Matthews, and Kaleb McGary, that side of the ball is exceptionally green.

Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Tyler Allgeier, Bijan Robinson, Drew Dalman, Matthew Bergeron, and most importantly, Desmond Ridder haven’t been exposed to much. The Falcons are counting on these youngsters a considerable amount, and the defense is the same way.

Despite the addition of all of those veterans, the Falcons still need Richie Grant, Arnold Ebiketie, DeAngelo Malone, and Ta’Quon Graham to take substantial steps in their respective developments.

Free agency is an excellent tool to improve a roster, but building through the draft and then developing that talent will always be a more sustainable approach to a winning organization. The Falcons got a lot better this offseason thanks to the addition of those veterans; however, it will be the impact of the youngsters that will propel this team to its goals.

Photographer: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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