With just a month remaining until the new league year begins and free agency kicks off, NFL teams have already begun to take a hard look at their rosters.
Some teams will uncover more problem areas than others as they evaluate the status of their organization, but Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit believes the Falcons have the least needs of all 32 teams in the NFL.
The Falcons were last in Benoit’s ranking of the “NFL’s neediest teams,” signaling that he views the team to be in good shape with only minor moves to make. He says Atlanta’s primary need this offseason is finding a pass rusher to help the defensive front pressure opposing quarterbacks.
“You can‘t have too many pass rushers, even if you drafted one in the first round in 2015 (Vic Beasley, left) and another in '17 (Takk McKinley), and are also likely to re-sign Grady Jarrett, an excellent gap shooter inside,” Benoit writes. “But these three, though gifted individually, are collectively inconsistent. Dan Quinn's simple but detailed 4–3 scheme only works if the four-man rush is getting to the QB.”
Injuries played a large role in the Falcons putting together a 7-9 campaign in 2018 and missing the playoffs for the first time in two years. Many of those injured players figure to be back in the fold in 2019, which is perhaps why Benoit views this team as fairly complete despite the disappointing year.
The Falcons have some self-identified areas that they will undoubtedly address in the coming months, but, at least in Benoit’s opinion, the new coordinators have a lot of good pieces to work with in Atlanta.