ESPN’s ‘under-the-radar offseason priority’ for Falcons

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The Falcons have more roster needs than there are solutions available. Still, the rebuild was never going to be completed before the 2023 season, but it could accelerate rapidly this offseason. Atlanta is in a prime position to take a substantial leap in what could be the new regime’s biggest season-to-season improvement of their tenure. With the second-most cap space in the league, the club will finally be able to look at the entire free agent pool instead of just the bargain aisle.

With more than enough cap space and another top-10 draft pick, the Falcons have plenty of resources to make some noise this year. There isn’t a single unit on the roster that doesn’t need starting-caliber talent or depth pieces. Quarterback will always dominate headlines, but the entire defense needs addressing, including cornerback, which isn’t thought about nearly as much as EDGE, defensive line, etc., which is why it was ESPN’s ‘under-the-radar offseason priority’ for Falcons:

Under-the-radar offseason priority: Atlanta needs edge rushers and interior defensive linemen. For sustained success, it needs an influx of free agent and draft talent there after finishing 31st in sacks this season (21). In addition, a second starting cornerback opposite A.J. Terrell is necessary to either replace or learn from Casey Hayward if he is back in 2023. — Michael Rothstein

You can never have enough cornerbacks in this league. In today’s NFL, teams need at least three good corners and four to be safe because injuries are inevitable.

Free agency is littered with all kinds of starting-caliber cornerbacks. James Bradberry has thrived in Philadelphia opposite Darius Slay. He might not be a CB1, but he’s the best CB2 in football right now. Bradberry would be an upgrade over Casey Hayward.

Jamel Dean is also another high-profile free agent. He doesn’t quite do it for me like Bradberry but would be a welcomed addition at the right price. Cam Sutton is a versatile defender that could kick inside to the slot if needed.

The draft is loaded as well, though. If the Falcons chose to go that route, Christian Gonzelez, Joey Porter Jr., Devon Witherspoon, and Cam Smith are potential candidates. I agree with Michael Rothstein: the position needs to be addressed because Cornell Armstrong isn’t someone you want logging significant snaps again.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


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