An area that has been a sore spot for the Falcons forever is the defensive line. The pass rush has plagued this franchise since John Abraham left town, but we’ll cover edge rushers in the next edition of this series. For now, we’ll focus on the big guys up front. The Falcons really don’t have much besides Grady Jarrett, and this is a position I’ve been adamant about addressing in free agency over the draft. There are a lot of options, so let’s take a look. Previous editions are listed below:
- Falcons 2023 Offseason: One Free Agent, One Draft Pick, One Trade — Quarterback
- Falcons 2023 Offseason: One Free Agent, One Draft Pick, One Trade — Running Backs
- Falcons 2023 Offseason: One Free Agent, One Draft Pick, One Trade — Wide Receivers
- Falcons 2023 Offseason: One Free Agent, One Draft Pick, One Trade — Tight Ends
- Falcons 2023 Offseason: One Free Agent, One Draft Pick, One Trade — Offensive Line
One Free Agent: Javon Hargrove
There are plenty of guys you could go with here. Da’Ron Payne is another great option. However, if the Falcons are going to swing, they should swing for the fences. Hargrove is undoubtedly one of the best interior defenders in all of football. He has been elite as a pass rusher up the middle for the Eagles in 2022, and although he isn’t the best run defender the Falcons could snag, he could help Grady Jarrett create a lot of pressure up the middle. Picking up a space eater like Dalvin Tomlinson could really transform this Falcons defensive front. Hargrove, Jarrett, and Tomlinson could instantly become one of the best defensive fronts in the entire NFL, something the Falcons haven’t been able to say… probably ever.
One Draft Pick: Bryan Bresee
The Falcons likely won’t be drafting in Jalen Carter range, so I’ll go to one of the next best players on the board at the position. Tyree Wilson is also in play here, but I’ll go with Bresee. Bresee is a mountain of a man at 6’5 and 300 pounds; and he moves like a guy half that size. He is very physically gifted and truly does it all for a potent Clemson defense. He would be a very big plug up the middle for a Falcons defense that badly needs help getting pressure and defending against the inside run.
One Trade: Derrick Brown
Inter-divisional trades can be a bit taboo, but Derrick Brown makes a lot of sense. The Panthers may finish 2022 ahead of the Falcons, but if they are aiming towards a rebuild, Atlanta could make a big offer for Derrick Brown. The Falcons still have picks from some trades they have made, and using them to get a true bona fide interior dawg like Brown could be in play. Acquiring one of the better all-around defensive tackles to play alongside Grady Jarrett would be a huge win in the offseason.
Photographer: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire