It would not appear to be the Atlanta Falcons want a lot to be a playoff contender, however they want loads of additional items to make it so far as the Tremendous Bowl.
Enjoying a bit Fantasy Soccer earlier than the beginning of coaching camp, let’s give them the prospect to steal one participant from any crew within the NFC South.
Quarterback Matt Ryan and several other key gamers on offense can be again for brand new head coach Arthur Smith. Receiver Calvin Ridley proved to be a real rising celebrity in 2020, and the crew used its first-round choose in April on do-it-all weapon Kyle Pitts from Florida.
This afforded new common supervisor Terry Fontenot to commerce away All-Professional receiver Julio Jones. A profitable contract and a crew needing cap house by no means will mesh. Upsetting the fanbase will not both.
However offensively, the Falcons are lacking a No. 2 receiver to be a professional contender. Maybe returning receiver Russell Gage can construct off his 2020 marketing campaign and turn out to be that man.
Defensively, yikes. There’s solely a handful of names that would not be on the chopping block if given the chance.
To win within the NFL now, having a secure go rush helps. Ought to Atlanta be granted one want to seize a participant from a crew within the division, it must be somebody who can get after the quarterback.
A strong steal can be Shaquil Barrett from the defending Tremendous Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Or, the Falcons might go together with the younger Brian Burns from Carolina.
Burns, a 2019 first-round choice from Florida State, won’t but have the numbers to match his expertise. Throughout the first yr beneath Ron Rivera, he solely tallied 7.5 tackles and 16 QB hits.
However after Phil Snow took over as the brand new defensive coordinator underneath head coach Matt Rhule in Carolina, Burns moved again to his pure defensive-end place. Due to that, his numbers improved on all features.
Final season, the 23-year-old recorded 58 complete tackles. 9 sacks, eight tackles for losses, 21 QB hits, 32 QB pressures and three compelled fumbled. Burns additionally was one of many quickest gamers off the road of scrimmage and gained most one-on-one battles.
Burns graded because the No. 19 edge defender by Professional Soccer Focus. That feels low when trying on the improved numbers from his rookie season. A number of web sites thought of him a High 10 participant at his place. Others pegged him as High 15.
Both method, the Falcons would like to have him.
Atlanta would not have an elite pass-rusher. Though they signed Dante Fowler Jr. to a multi-year deal after his bounce-back season with the Los Angeles Rams, he hasn’t produced.
Final yr, Fowler recorded a mere three sacks, third-most on the roster. Total, it was Grady Jarrett who led the crew with simply 4.5.
Any crew that is aware of methods to win understands the worth of pressuring a quarterback. Take, as an example, NFC South rival Tampa Bay final winter. Barrett was a nightmare all through the postseason and co-defensive finish Jason Pierre-Paul recorded a pair of sacks towards Inexperienced Bay within the NFC Championship Sport.
Till Atlanta can improve its go rush, it is going to at all times be trying up on the division leaders. Including a promising, productive participant like Burns would assist alleviate these issues and in addition would not have an effect on the Falcons’ wage cap till his rookie deal ends in 2023.
CONTINUE READING: ESPN Down on Falcons Future