What does each offseason acquisition bring to the Falcons: Kaden Elliss

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The Falcons completely overhauled the defense, adding big ticket free agents at all three levels. Jessie Bates and David Onyemata were the additions on the first and third levels, but there were more, which is why we will discuss what each brings to the Falcons, moving on to a lesser-known but nonetheless important piece to Atlanta’s defensive outlook.

Check out any other parts of the series if you’ve missed them!

Kaden Elliss

Not many Falcons fans knew who Kaden Elliss was before he signed a three-year deal worth about $7 million annually with $11 million guaranteed. He’s been a reserve player, contributing primarily on special teams over his first three seasons, but he experienced a coming-out party last year.

The versatile defender was asked to do a little bit of everything in New Orleans, posting 68 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles, and two pass deflections.

Current Falcons defensive coordinator and former Saints co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen used him in many ways, including as an off-ball linebacker and along the defensive front. Nielsen played a significant role in Elliss coming to Atlanta, given the opportunity to impact the game in multiple ways.

Falcons fans can expect Elliss to play all over the defense, a role he assumed in New Orleans. I would expect on early downs that he will play next to Troy Andersen as a traditional off-ball linebacker, but on third downs, things will get exotic.

“Some of the snaps may have logged me defensive end, some of them I may have been at a linebacker mugged up in the B gap,” Elliss said, via the team’s website. “That’s one of the things I kind of liked about coach Nielsen, is how he has that history in his background and how he helped put together the third-down plan over there [in New Orleans]. I was excited to follow him and work with him in this [defense].”

He is a more than solid run defender and an underrated pass rusher; six of his seven sacks came in the final seven weeks. The Falcons are a perfect place for Elliss to display his versatile skill set; he can play on the line, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, etc. For a team that has spoken ad nauseam about positionless football, the sky is the limit for Kaden Elliss. 

Photographer: Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire

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