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Shaping the Draft


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The NFL really raised the Bar on us this season.

Could they have made it any tougher for the Falcons?

My take on this is that we will need to draft a High Impact Player

on Defense.

IMO Linebackers are of the few Defensive player than can come in from day one and

be able to make such an impact.

But the long and short of this will boil down to the Offensive Line and the need

for True Depth at OT and OG.

Should we be able to draft a Villainous OT and a Road Grader at OG

then we will have a superior depth on the O Line that will get us through

the Bye Week Gauntlet.

What this does is to help keep our Offense on the Field and our

Defense on the sidelines to maintain Fresh Legs.

So to this I say Draft for the Schedule and Bring It Baby !

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Last season the Atlanta Falcons were 24th in total defense in the league. They surrendered a lot of yards (348.2 yds/gm) but were pretty good at not giving up a lot of points (20.3 pts/gm). Another bad statistic that haunted Atlanta was the 109 penalties they committed during the season (don't know the exact stats, but I would bet a good portion of them were on the defense).

One thing is for sure...the defense will look totally different this season with the losses of starters Keith Brooking, Grady Jackson, Michael Boley, Dominique Foxworth, and Lawyer Milloy.

The question looming this offseason is, will the defense improve or regress?

On one hand, looking at the losses on defense, fans could have reason to worry. This wouldn't be a huge worry if there were solid guys ready to step in and start in place of the losses. However...neither backup LB Stephen Nicholas and S Thomas DeCoud garnered significant playing time last season. LB Coy Wire started near the end of the season and was solid but is better suited as a backup.

At corner, Brent Grimes started for about half the season before getting injured and played solid but unspectacular. Grimes would also be better suited as a backup. The only other corner to get significant playing time was nickelback Chevis Jackson, who showed a lot of promise. The question is, can Jackson become a starter?

Obviously since the Falcons took a close look at safeties and corners at the combine, one would think they are seriously considering drafting at both positions. Also the new regime's gameplan is to get starters in the draft and build depth through free agency.

There are two problems with that scenario...one being how can they draft five guys to start? Obviously that's not their plan either, unless they are being overconfident in their drafting abilities.

The second problem, is do you want five rookies starting on defense? Hopefully the addition of LB Mike Peterson from Jacksonville will fill one void at linebacker but that still leaves another starter and depth that needs to be addressed. I'm all for bringing in young talent to fill some voids, but what about veteran leadership? This is bound to be causing a lot of people to scratch their heads.

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