Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Linebacker

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I had Roquan Smith sized dreams at linebacker before he signed his extension with the Ravens, so now, where should the Falcons pivot? I don’t think linebacker is a position worth spending big money on most of the time, and the Falcons could always bring back Rashaan Evans, who was serviceable. All figures are via Over The Cap.

If you want to check out my articles from my previous offseason series — One Free Agent, One Draft Pick, and One Trade — those will be linked below:

Previous editions of this series are listed below:

Current Rostered Linebackers

LB Mykal Walker

LB Troy Andersen

The Falcons have a lot of youth, and that youth has been shaky at times. However, paying big money to a linebacker probably isn’t the solution. Let’s explore some options.

Sign LB David Long

There’s a laundry list of names I could have gone with here; Tremaine Edmunds, Lavonte David, Devin Bush, but i’ll go in depth on those guys in my big board. For the price, I landed on David Long. Long has had an incredible season in Nashville, and hopefully Arthur Smith still sends him a Christmas Card. Long is the type of rangy, run stuffing backer the Falcons should covet. Not only can he get downhill against the run, but he also had a 23.8% pressure rate in 2022 and held his own when asked to drop into coverage. Even though he had a breakout year this season, I’m comfortable giving him a deal.

David Long signs a three year, $21 million deal

Draft Nick Herbig

I haven’t scouted a ton of these linebackers, and this isn’t a great class. However, I do know that Herbig is one of the better coverage linebackers in the country. He’s a pretty good athlete, but he’s going to have to add some functional strength. The Falcons can afford to wait and let him develop. He’s worth a look with the fifth-round pick we haven’t used yet.

Falcons draft Nick Herbig with pick 155

Overhauled Linebacker Roster

LB David Long

LB Mykal Walker

LB Troy Andersen

LB Nick Herbig

I expect Troy Andersen to make some strides, and Long should add some immediate juice to this room at a reasonable cost. We shelled out a little cash for Long, but we still have enough in the tank to make one more big splash and sign the draft class.

Current Roster: 40

QB Desmond Ridder

QB Taylor Heinicke

RB Tyler Allgeier

RB Cordarrelle Patterson

RB Justin Jackson 

RB Avery Williams

RB Caleb Huntley

WR Drake London

WR Allen Lazard

WR Ronnie Bell

WR Olamide Zaccheaus

WR Frank Darby

TE Kyle Pitts

TE Darnell Washington

TE MyCole Pruitt

TE Parker Hesse

OL Jake Matthews

OL Nate Davis

OL Drew Dalman

OL Chris Lindstrom

OL Kaleb McGary

OL Elijah Wilkinson

OL Matt Hennessy

OL Jarrett Patterson

OL Ryan Neuzil

DL Grady Jarrett

DL Javon Hargrave

DL Ta’Quon Graham

DL Abdullah Anderson

DL Byron Young

EDGE Lorenzo Carter

EDGE Arnold Ebiketie

EDGE DeAngelo Malone

EDGE Zach Harrison

EDGE Dylan Horton

EDGE Ade Ogundeji

LB David Long

LB Mykal Walker

LB Troy Andersen

LB Nick Herbig

Draft Picks Remaining

  • Round 1, Pick 8
  • Round 7, Pick 226 (from LV)

2023 Cap Space Allotted: $68 Million

Quarterback: -$6 million

Running Back: $900k

Wide Receiver: $19.5 million

Tight End: $1.9 million

Offensive Line: $27.5 million

Defensive Line: $12.2 million

EDGE: $5 million

Linebackers: $7 million

Photo: John Jones/Icon Sportswire

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