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2018 vs 2019 Falcons Defense


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Don't feed me a line about injuries either. If we lose players to injury again, we'll be right down the toilet.

Doing this from memory, so correct me anywhere that I'm wrong. Struck out players are gone, bold are added. Not including nobodies that are still here like Zimmer (sorry if you're reading this bro, but not that sorry, you're making six figures), but I'll include some of the other nobodies so people know the turnover/replacements.

2018

DT: Jarrett, Crawford, Senat, McClain, Shelby
DE: Beasley, McKinley, Reed, Irvin, Means
LB: Debo, Campbell, Oloukon, Riley, Carter, Ishmael
CB: Trufant, Alford, Poole, Oliver, Wreh-Wilson, Bethel
S: Neal, Allen, Kazee, Neasman, Richards

2019

DT: Jarrett, Crawford, Senat, Davison, Hageman
DE: Beasley, McKinley, Clayborn, Means, Odom
LB: Debo, Campbell, Oloukon, Riley, Carter, Ishmael
CB: Trufant, Oliver, Wreh-Wilson, Kazee
S: Neal, Allen, Kazee, Neasman, Wilcox, Cooper

So. At DL, we've replaced McClain, Shelby, Reed, and Irvin with Davison, Hageman, Clayborn, and Odom. Clayborn is arguably an upgrade over Shelby, and his contract is cheap, so there's that. Davison might be an upgrade over McClain, albeit minor. Hageman hasn't been in football for years and Odom is a nobody until he proves otherwise. Reed and Irvin haven't been effectively replaced; I don't think anyone would argue otherwise. In other words, our already bad pass rush is probably worse this year. There are a few good players still on the market, albeit with questions, ie: Ansah, Suh, etc. Regardless, it's doubtful we upgrade on the edge without trades at this point.

LB is unchanged. At CB, we've lost our 2nd and 3rd CBs on the chart and are counting on the people behind them to improve. Kazee isn't a real addition, though you could argue it. At safety, our depth is marginally improved, so that's something.

To sum it up - we're worse on defense after FA and the first two days of the draft. Anyone drafted from here on out is developmental at best, counting on anyone to immediately upgrade our depth is foolish. This staff has been good at drafting in the later rounds, but that doesn't mean you bank on it.

At this point, people are counting on four things for this defense to get better in 2019:

1) No injuries/injured players returning to form (especially since our depth has gotten worse rather than better on the DL, especially on the edge)
2) DQ's coaching
3) existing roster player improvement
4) late draft picks/UDFA/FA scraps

In other words...coaching and luck. We're counting on coaching and luck to improve this defense, rather than investing resources in the draft or FA. And please, don't tell me about previous drafts, I'm talking about this team addressing the issues that they have now with the resources they have this year.

I welcome contrary thoughts on what this team has done to improve their defense in the offseason. Really. I want to be convinced. I like DQ, but this team is hedging a lot of bets right now.

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We had trouble stopping the run last year.  Neal returns, so there is help there.  Also, Davison is far better than McClain stopping the run.

We will likely draft a DL and CB, as well as a LB, so there will be additional depth. 

We missed out on a highly rated DT, but we solidified the right side of the OL.  OL has been a need for some time.  I can not fault the FO for finally addressing it. 

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5 minutes ago, Francis York Morgan said:

Don't feed me a line about injuries either. If we lose players to injury again, we'll be right down the toilet.

Doing this from memory, so correct me anywhere that I'm wrong. Struck out players are gone, bold are added. Not including nobodies that are still here like Zimmer (sorry if you're reading this bro, but not that sorry, you're making six figures), but I'll include some of the other nobodies so people know the turnover/replacements.

2018

DT: Jarrett, Crawford, Senat, McClain, Shelby
DE: Beasley, McKinley, Reed, Irvin, Means
LB: Debo, Campbell, Oloukon, Riley, Carter, Ishmael
CB: Trufant, Alford, Poole, Oliver, Wreh-Wilson, Bethel
S: Neal, Allen, Kazee, Neasman, Richards

2019

DT: Jarrett, Crawford, Senat, Davison, Hageman
DE: Beasley, McKinley, Clayborn, Means, Odom
LB: Debo, Campbell, Oloukon, Riley, Carter, Ishmael
CB: Trufant, Oliver, Wreh-Wilson, Kazee
S: Neal, Allen, Kazee, Neasman, Wilcox, Cooper

So. At DL, we've replaced McClain, Shelby, Reed, and Irvin with Davison, Hageman, Clayborn, and Odom. Clayborn is arguably an upgrade over Shelby, and his contract is cheap, so there's that. Davison might be an upgrade over McClain, albeit minor. Hageman hasn't been in football for years and Odom is a nobody. Reed and Irvin haven't been effectively replaced; I don't think anyone would argue otherwise. In other words, our already bad pass rush is probably worse this year. There are a few good players still on the market, albeit with questions, ie: Ansah, Suh, etc. Regardless, it's doubtful we upgrade on the edge without trades at this point.

LB is unchanged. At CB, we've lost our 2nd and 3rd CBs on the chart and are counting on the people behind them to improve. Kazee isn't a real addition, though you could argue it. At safety, our depth is marginally improved, so that's something.

To sum it up - we're worse on defense after FA and the first two days of the draft. Anyone drafted from here on out is developmental at best, counting on anyone to immediately upgrade our depth is foolish. This staff has been good at drafting in the later rounds, but that doesn't mean you bank on it.

At this point, people are counting on four things for this defense to get better in 2019:

1) No injuries (especially since our depth has gotten worse rather than better on the DL, especially on the edge)
2) DQ's coaching
3) development of previous draft picks
4) late draft picks/UDFA/FA scraps

In other words...coaching and luck. We're counting on coaching and luck to improve this defense, rather than investing resources in the draft or FA. And please, don't tell me about previous drafts, I'm talking about this team addressing the issues that they have now with the resources they have this year.

I welcome contrary thoughts on what this team has done to improve their defense in the offseason. Really. I want to be convinced. I like DQ as a DC, but this team is hedging a lot of bets right now.

Keanu Neal...that's all

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5 minutes ago, abcranford2 said:

Keanu Neal...that's all

So, the argument that we won't have injuries/he'll return to playing how he was pre-injury immediately. Again, I don't like that argument. Also doesn't address our DE situation.

6 minutes ago, etherdome said:

We had trouble stopping the run last year.  Neal returns, so there is help there.  Also, Davison is far better than McClain stopping the run.

We will likely draft a DL and CB, as well as a LB, so there will be additional depth. 

We missed out on a highly rated DT, but we solidified the right side of the OL.  OL has been a need for some time.  I can not fault the FO for finally addressing it. 

Counting on late round picks for depth is, again, a poor argument. Counting on them to upgrade our previous depth is especially iffy. I addressed both of these arguments in the post. Hoping to get lucky is not a valid reason for not addressing areas in the draft.

I have no issue with us addressing the OL. I'm thrilled to see it. I'm just pointing out where things stand as of now.

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We've still got 7 picks to address some of these deficiencies. 

I think we're clearly stouter this year with the Davison signing and you'd expect Senat to come on some this year and play a bigger role. I think we've got better depth at safety this year already regardless of what we do over the next 2 days.

Pass rush and outside corner would be my biggest 2 concerns. Some of my targets (either via trade up or on day 3) would be:

Chase Winovich

Sean Bunting

Isaiah Johnson

Jamal Davis

Maxx Crosby

John Cominsky

 

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The OL injuries wrecked the 2013, 2014 and 2018 seasons. TD and DQ know if they can’t protect Ryan, it’s lights out for their jobs. Falcons have been drafting defense in first two rounds for ever with nothing to show for in terms of success. It is high time Falcons invest in OL as the defense will take more cap with Debo, Grady and Neal in the future.

Lets look at CB, Alford was worst CB In the NFL last year. Oliver has no where but to go up. Kazee will replace Brian Poole. It actually looks better than last year. 

I would have hoped more help on DL in FA and that’s a big unknown at this time. 

LB in this draft is not deep, I am ok with giving up a 3rd and avoid selecting another Duke Riley. 

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Davison is a big upgrade over Mcclain.

Neal is back. Allen is back.

Oliver/Senat/Foye in year 2 and Takk/Kazee in year 3 should/could see big jumps...all have shown flashes

Trufant played well at the end of last year and Allen/Neal back will only help

Quinn working with Beasley and taking over the defense and also guys like Jarrett/Campbell/Clayborn/Crawfordand still 7 draft picks left...our defense will be good next year barring major injuries to our top players again. 

Edited by falconsfan4life3
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9 minutes ago, etherdome said:

We had trouble stopping the run last year.  Neal returns, so there is help there.  Also, Davison is far better than McClain stopping the run.

We will likely draft a DL and CB, as well as a LB, so there will be additional depth. 

We missed out on a highly rated DT, but we solidified the right side of the OL.  OL has been a need for some time.  I can not fault the FO for finally addressing it. 

So you want 2 rookies starting on Ryan’s right side?

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3 minutes ago, Smiler11 said:

We've still got 7 picks to address some of these deficiencies. 

I think we're clearly stouter this year with the Davison signing and you'd expect Senat to come on some this year and play a bigger role. I think we've got better depth at safety this year already regardless of what we do over the next 2 days.

Pass rush and outside corner would be my biggest 2 concerns. Some of my targets (either via trade up or on day 3) would be:

Chase Winovich

Sean Bunting

Isaiah Oliver

Jamal Davis

Maxx Crosby

John Cominsky

 

None of those guys get past pick 80

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1 minute ago, Falconsin2012 said:

No, the guys we paid FA money to would be better

They were not any better than Ben Garland and Wes in terms of hits, pressures and sacks or penalties. A stop gap solid depth while rookies anchor the line. Fusco was terrible before he got hurt.  You could argue we over paid for depth, but I guess DQ talked about solid depth.

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I’ll start with DL. What was supposed to be McClain strength just never materialized. We have to stop the run first and foremost before we can get after the passer. Davison and a experienced Senat should help significantly in that department.

LB: we will be in a better situation than we were a year ago if Debo happens to go down (Knock on wood that he doesn’t). Carter would have some familiarity with the scheme and Foye Oluokon would be more experienced. I’m assuming we will try to target a backer in the draft Ulysses Gilbert, Deonte Roberts, or Holcomb to keep Riley off the field.

Secondary will improve with the return of Allen and Neal. I still want a corner like Isaiah Johnson to have as depth though.

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I think some of you guys are really undervaluing some of the additions and players we are getting back. 

  • Davidson was a beast against the run for the Aints and he can be that here next to Grady in base packages. I feel like people don't take him seriously because of the small contract he got thinking he must suck because of it, which isn't true.

 

  • The development of Senat is also being overlooked, Senat had almost identical rookie stats that Grady had so if he can develop even 30% more and have a few pass rush moves, well there you go, he can be your Wilkins/Lawrence pick. The dude was stout last year before hitting a rookie wall. 

 

  • Also, don't forget you have Crawford at DT to rush next to Grady on sub packages and all. He was very well last year and I think he will continue to be so. The DT area to me isn't really that much of a need as most of you guys think. I feel like most people fell in love with draft players like Wilkins/Lawrence/Oliver and wanted one and when we got none of them they soured. 

 

  • The DE position along with CB should be our main focus point. If Takk or Beasly go down or dont perform you will have major issues. The same thing with CB, if Tru or Oliver goes down it will be a **** show, oh and they also have to perform as well. So yes a lot is on the line but we still have 7 picks left. DQ and TD have shown great talent in finding gems in the 4th to the 7th round range before as we have seen. Whose not to say we won't double dip at these positions, plus the offseason is not over, we can still sign some quality vets after some cuts are made. 

 

  • We have to believe DQ at this point, the guy is putting it all on the line, and honestly, if it doesn't work I am down to giving them 1 more year to get it right but hey that's just me. I see all the worries and I understand but I think we just have to believe our coach knows what to do now. 
Edited by FalconBlood23
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Just now, falcons007 said:

They were not any better than Ben Garland and Wes in terms of hits, pressures and sacks or penalties. A stop gap solid depth while rookies anchor the line. Fusco was terrible before he got hurt. 

Fusco returning is better than all of them.  Brown/Carpenter are quality NFL starting OG’s.  It simply wasn’t a need

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7 minutes ago, Smiler11 said:

We've still got 7 picks to address some of these deficiencies. 

I think we're clearly stouter this year with the Davison signing and you'd expect Senat to come on some this year and play a bigger role. I think we've got better depth at safety this year already regardless of what we do over the next 2 days.

Pass rush and outside corner would be my biggest 2 concerns. Some of my targets (either via trade up or on day 3) would be:

Chase Winovich

Sean Bunting

Isaiah Oliver

Jamal Davis

Maxx Crosby

John Cominsky

 

Smiler lol you put Oliver but we know you meant Johnson.

I agree with the players listed and I would add Michael Dogbe.

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I don't disagree with the analysis at all.  That being said, I think the offensive line was a bigger shambles and the Falcons did the right thing yesterday.  A few players who we thought were good players coming into 2018 turned out to not be very good anymore.  It happens. The team isn't as good as we want it to be.  But maybe the injury luck will be better this year and some of these guys on defense will surprise us.

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1 minute ago, Francis York Morgan said:

So, the argument that we won't have injuries. Again, I don't like that argument.

I'm not talking about injuries. 

I'm talking about Keanu Neal.  Its like people forget who he is and what he does to people.  I promise you, the opposing team wont be thinking we're soft after watching one of their teammates get decapitated. 

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2 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

We had 4 rookies playing on a defense that took us to the SB.

Like any rookies they’ll take there lumps.

Its a trait I like about DQ as a coach if there good enough he’ll give them there shot and let them learn under fire.

The 2016 defense was historically bad.  We can’t afford that with the offense

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