Falcons: Ranking Free Agent Priority by Position — Defense

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It’s no secret that the Falcons have a lot of needs to fill with limited cap space to fill them. According to Over The Cap, the Falcons are almost $7 million in the hole going into the 2022 offseason, and they only have 52 rostered players. This includes guys signed to future/reserve contracts and practice squad players. Obviously, there are ways to work around this, and Atlanta will have some money to spend on free agents. How they accomplish that is a different article for a different day. For now, I’m going to lay out the priorities that should be at the top of Atlanta’s to do list. Make no mistake, we’re splitting hairs here — most of these are equally important. If you want to check out the rankings for the offensive side of the ball, that’s linked below:



5. Linebacker

Personally, I think bringing back Foyesade Oluokun is a top priority for the right price. He’s a good “see ball, get ball” linebacker, and Deion Jones is a guy Atlanta should look to move in a trade. Mykal Walker showed flashes, but the Falcons will need a little more to back them up. If Jones is retained, the Falcons aren’t in as tough of a spot.


4. Safety

I think Richie Grant will be ready to take over in 2022, and I’m not as down on him as some other fans may be. Jaylinn Hawkins was awesome at times, and I’d be willing to bring back Erik Harris on another vet minimum deal. Regardless, the Falcons will need some type of body or depth. Taking a swing on a superstar is to be determined. If you want to read my free agent rankings for safeties, you can find that here.


3. Cornerback

The Falcons have some tough decisions to make at corner. This draft appears to be littered with talented ones, but you can never have enough good corners in today’s NFL. Isaiah Oliver was playing the best football of his career in 2021 before injury, and Fabian Moreau is a fine CB2/3. With not a lot of depth at the position, I think Atlanta should roll the dice on multiple young guys. If you want to read my free agent rankings for cornerbacks, you can find that here.


2. Interior Defensive Line

As it stands, the Falcons don’t have much on the defensive line next to Grady Jarrett. I want to see them develop Marlon Davidson further, but a presence to plug the interior of the defensive line will be necessary, especially if Tyeler Davison is cut. Regardless, the Falcons must look to bolster the position with quality depth. If you want to read my free agent rankings for defensive linemen, you can find that here.



Let’s not overthink this. In opposition of my philosophy for offensive linemen, I think the Falcons need to focus on building quality depth instead of going for “one guy” in an attempt to fix the pass rush overnight. Clearly that hasn’t worked up to this point. Even if there was one guy available, I think he would be outside of Atlanta’s price range. If you want to read my free agent rankings for pass rushers, you can find that here.

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