Atlanta Falcons Minicamp, built by The Home Depot, came to a close on Thursday after three days of workouts in the Georgia heat. Fans came to Flowery Branch for one more look at the team.
ESPN on Wednesday released offseason grades for every NFL team, and Atlanta, unsurprisingly, did quite well.
Vaughn McClure assigned the Falcons a B — an impressive mark, especially since only one club (the Jets) earned a solid A.
A big reason why the Falcons received a B is their performance at the Draft, where they added a number of intriguing prospects who can chip in right away. This group, led by pass-rush specialist Vic Beasley Jr., was dubbed the best draft class in the league by Pro Football Focus. Of course, it will take years to know if that title holds up, but the praise it has garnered — which has been near-universal — is highly encouraging.
Atlanta did well in free agency, too, even if it didn't add a superstar-caliber talent. Adrian Clayborn and O'Brien Schofield should immediately improve the front seven; Chris Chester, who has experience in Kyle Shanahan's offense, figures to be a nice addition to the offensive line. The Falcons also upgraded the tight end position by signing Jacob Tamme and Tony Moeki and added WR depth with Leonard Hankerson. While none of these names jump off the page, they should collectively improve the Falcons' depth in areas of need.
Factor in these players and a new, high-energy coaching staff led by Dan Quinn, and there are many reasons to be excited about this team's future.