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Falcons' top remaining needs after early free agency moves


The Atlanta Falcons made more headline-grabbing moves at the start of free agency than they have in the past few offseasons, and they addressed some top needs in the process.

But where do things stand after the first major stretch of free agency?


The Falcons still have the NFL Draft to add quality players to their roster, but they may have a couple of moves left to make in free agency. General manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn are constantly seeking to improve their roster, and here are some positions they could be taking a close look at.

Cornerback: With the release of Desmond Trufant and the addition of edge rusher Dante Fowler, the Falcons' most pressing need is the cornerback position. Isaiah Oliver is now the most experienced returning starter, and he's entering his third season. There are some enticing prospects in this year's draft class who could become No. 1 starters early in their professional careers.

It's also possible the Falcons choose to bolster their depth in the secondary by adding a veteran free agent. It seems more likely that they would go after a reliable backup than someone to replace Trufant as the top starter, but Atlanta has been fairly aggressive in free agency thus far.

Defensive line: This is purposefully a bit vague, because the Falcons could stand to add another impact player anywhere on the defensive line. Bringing Tyeler Davison back at defensive tackle was a solid move, and the growth of John Cominsky will be something to monitor in his second season.

There's plenty of depth currently on the roster at defensive end and defensive tackle, but the top pass-rushing unit could use a bit more juice. Mock drafts have mostly linked the Falcons to an edge rusher in the first round, and while they could opt to go in a few different directions at pick No. 16, further bolstering their pass rush would not be a bad decision.

Interior offensive line: Linebacker could also be an option for this final spot, but Foye Oluokun has shown plenty of promise in his first two seasons and could step in to replace De'Vondre Campbell. Instead, Atlanta could once again look to bring in someone to help secure the interior of its offensive line.

More specifically, the left guard spot. Dimitroff said at the NFL combine that he envisions a three-man competition at that spot, but this is where the team's constant evaluation of the roster could lead them to seeking another option. If Atlanta has the opportunity to add someone in the draft or free agency who could become a reliable starter at left guard, the depth of the group as a whole would benefit as players slide down the depth chart.

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