Early Bird Report: Grady Jarrett supporting first responders 

A number of members of the Atlanta Falcons organization have made donations to help those in need of relief during the coronavirus outbreak, including Jamon Brown, Matt Ryanwho donated $100,000 split between two charities – and owner Arthur Blank, who pledged over $5 million dollars.

Now, Grady Jarrett belongs on that list. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle, who has been very involved in community work during his career in Atlanta, is providing meals for police and firefighters around the city and in his hometown of Rockdale County, according to FOX 5 reporter Cody Chaffins.

Per Chaffins, Jarrett sent out the first supply of meals to first responders over the weekend and plans to do so twice a week for the remainder of April.

"It's very very admirable for them to go out there and do what they've got to do." Jarrett told Chaffins. "… It's technically not my job but I feel like it's part of my duty being a big face in the city and being from Rockdale County, I'm going to always try and serve where I can, especially in times of need."

To read more about Jarrett's aid for Atlanta's first responders, click here.

Here are some other articles for Falcons fans to check out today:

CBS Sports: Grading 2020 top NFL offenses

More often than not, the Falcons have boasted one of the NFL's most productive offenses since Matt Ryan arrived in Atlanta in 2008. With Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley at receiver, the Falcons have enough firepower to stress opposing secondaries, and they've added a couple of new weapons this offseason.

Hayden Hurst now steps in to fill Austin Hooper's shoes in a tight-end-friendly offensive scheme run by Dirk Koetter, and Todd Gurley is reportedly headed to Atlanta to take the top spot at running back after the Falcons parted ways with Devonta Freeman. Those additions should again keep the Falcons among the top offenses in the league.

CBS Sports' Jared Dubin put together a system to rank the offenses in the NFL, and he has the Falcons tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 10.

"Hooper is gone now after having signed a sizable deal with the Browns," Dubin writes. "The Falcons replaced him with Hayden Hurst, who was acquired in a pretty massive overpay but should nevertheless be a solid addition to the offense. Also helping matters is the jettisoning of Devonta Freeman, one of the NFL's least effective runners over the past two years, in favor of Todd Gurley. The former Rams running back was not nearly worth his contract last year and is a walking injury risk but he at least provides an upside that there was no way Freeman was going to hit. The Falcons should add another back in the draft as a complement to Gurley, and with the Ryan-Jones-Ridley trio still in place, they're in good shape at the skill positions."

There's plenty of firepower on Atlanta's offense, and the offensive line could be better with Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary entering their second seasons. If all things come together, the Falcons could prove worthy of a higher spot on this list.

To read all of Dubin's piece on NFL offenses, click here.

NFL.com: 2017 NFL Draft do-over

It's entirely possible that the Falcons add a cornerback in the first round of this year's NFL Draft, but they also addressed the position in Adam Rank's do-over of the 2017 draft for NFL.com.

Atlanta, coming off its Super Bowl appearance, held the 31st pick in the 2017 draft but traded up to select defensive end Takk McKinley. In Rank's do-over, the Falcons draft Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie.

"Blowing a huge lead in the Super Bowl is going to make you want to go out and splurge on defense," Rank writes. "In reality, the Falcons did that when they traded up for Takkarist McKinley. Which I thought was a good move at the time. But here, we're going with Awuzie, who has been extremely solid in coverage for the Cowboys. He's not the second coming of Deion Sanders (oh, wow, that works as a callback for both the Cowboys and the Falcons), but he would be pretty nice right here."

Awuzie has started 36 games in his three seasons with the Cowboys and recorded 175 tackles, 32 pass defenses and three interceptions. The Falcons parted ways with top cornerback Desmond Trufant this offseason and are expected to add to the position at some point.

To read the rest of Rank's draft do-over, click here.

CBS Sports: Teams that should trade down in Round 1

The Falcons currently hold the 16th-overall pick in the draft, but CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso believes they could be a candidate to trade back in an effort to pick up another pick or two. General manager Thomas Dimitroff has not been afraid to make draft-day trades in the past, and Atlanta could have some options at the midpoint of the first round.

"This suggestion comes with a caveat -- if one of Jeudy, Ruggs, or Lamb are on the board when the Falcons go on the clock at No. 16 overall, then I believe the wisest move for Atlanta would be to trade down," Trapasso writes. "… Atlanta moved a second-rounder in the trade for Hayden Hurst, and the offense looks pretty loaded. The defense is in dire need of an explosive edge rusher, the cornerback room is missing a true No. 1 with Desmond Trufant gone, and Grady Jarrett could use a disruptive running mate on the interior of the team's defensive line."

To see the other teams Trapasso believes could trade down, click here.

'NFL Total Access': Favorite free agency moves

The Falcons addressed their running back position with one of the premier free agency moves of the offseason – the addition of former Georgia star Todd Gurley. The former NFL Offensive Player of the Year has been among the most dominant running backs in the league since he was drafted by the Rams in 2015, and the Falcons are hoping he provides a boost to their ground attack in 2020.

Michael Robinson of "NFL Total Access" believes Gurley is one of the best free agency pickups of the offseason.

"He still has a lot left in his legs," Robinson said. "People say that he might be a little hurt, or whatever the case may be. I still think Todd Gurley has a lot of football left, and he's finally going to have a guy on the outside in Julio Jones. Julio Jones is going to always command two or three defensive backs looking at him every single time. So, there's this game that's going to be played, guys. Are you going to put an extra guy over here with Julio? If you do, we're going to hand it off to Todd Gurley. If you're to bring that extra guy into the box, we're going to let Julio eat all day long."

The Players' Tribune: I am who I'm meant to be

New Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst is looking to do big things in Atlanta, but he's already had a journey that's made him the man he's become. In a very compelling piece for The Players' Tribune, Hurst details the lowest point of his life and how he's grown stronger as a result. He briefly mentions the Falcons and the next chapter of his NFL career towards the bottom of the story, but that is far from what this is really about.

"I'm heading into my third year in the NFL," Hurst writes. "After three seasons at South Carolina, the Ravens drafted me in the first round in 2018. Now I'm an Atlanta Falcon. I couldn't be more excited to be a part of this organization, but I will also be forever grateful to Baltimore. The Ravens took a chance on me, and I hope I helped build something that will last a long, long time in that city."

This is an important story for any Falcons fan to read, and you can find it here.

ESPN: NFL power rankings factoring in free agency

Free agency has shaken up the NFL landscape and brought some big names to the NFC South. The Falcons landed some of those big names with Dante Fowler and Todd Gurley heading to Atlanta.

How have those moves impacted the way members of the national media view the Falcons? ESPN's post-free agency power rankings had Atlanta dropping two spots from the site's previous "Way-too-early" rankings, and the Falcons currently sit at No. 18.

"Three words: Something to prove," ESPN's Vaughn McClure writes. "The Falcons added four former first-round draft picks in Todd Gurley, Dante Fowler Jr., Hayden Hurst and Laquon Treadwell, and all four have to show they can play up to their first-round talent. Gurley is the one fans are excited about the most, and he certainly wants to answer questions about his left knee and his ability to be a productive back. The Falcons, as a whole, have to prove they can compete in a revamped NFC South now featuring Tom Brady."

To read the rest of ESPN's post-free agency power rankings, click here.

NOvsATL_CM_09232018_0107 (3)

2020 Season Tickets

See the Falcons battle divisional foes along with the Bears, Lions, Broncos, Raiders and Seahawks at the best venue in sports.

Advertising