By Dakota Follett (@dakfollett) | Published April 8, 2020
The Falcons stumbled out of the gate to start the season 1-7 but rebounded nicely after the bye week to go 6-2 and extend a lifeline to the GM/HC duo of Thomas Dimitroff/Dan Quinn. However, there are plenty of patches in need of filling on the roster, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Be sure to download your copy of the 2020 NFL Draft Bible, featuring 600+ scouting reports.
*Italics indicate offseason addition.
QUARTERBACK: Matt Ryan/Matt Schaub/Kurt Benkert/Danny Etling
Money Invested: $22.558M | Percentage of Cap: 11.4% | Need Level: LOW
Overview: Matt Ryan is still under contract through 2023.
RUNNING BACK: Todd Gurley | Depth: Ito Smith/Brian Hill/Qadree Ollison/Edmond Robinson/Craig Reynolds
Money Invested: $8.716M | Percentage of Cap: 4.4% | Need Level: HIGH
Overview: Todd Gurley was brought in but only on a one-year deal. The Falcons can’t be sure he’s the long-term option in the backfield.
FULLBACK: Keith Smith
Money Invested: $1.277M | Percentage of Cap: 0.6% | Need Level: LOW
WIDE RECEIVER: Julio Jones/Calvin Ridley/Russell Gage | Depth: Laquon Treadwell/Olamide Zaccheaus/Christian Blake/Brandon Powell/Devin Gray
Money Invested: $27.640M | Percentage of Cap: 13.9% | Need Level: MEDIUM
Overview: The duo of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley looks potent but there’s not much depth behind those two.
TIGHT END: Hayden Hurst | Depth: Jaeden Graham/Carson Meier/Khari Lee
Money Invested: $3.518M | Percentage of Cap: 1.8% | Need Level: MEDIUM
Overview: The Falcons lost Austin Hooper to free agency and responded by trading a second-round pick for Hayden Hurst. It has yet to be seen if Hurst is a true starting-caliber tight end in the league.
OFFENSIVE TACKLE: Jake Matthews/Kaleb McGary | Depth: Matt Gono
Money Invested: $13.859M | Percentage of Cap: 7% | Need Level: LOW
Overview: This tandem is one that is young and locked up under contract, so the Falcons will likely move forward with them. They could look to add depth here however.
OFFENSIVE GUARD: James Carpenter/Chris Lindstrom | Depth: Jamon Brown/Justin McCray/John Wetzel/Sean Harlow
Money Invested: $17.641M | Percentage of Cap: 8.9% | Need Level: MEDIUM
Overview: These former first-round picks have both had up-and-down careers, so there’s no guarantees the Falcons will move forward with this duo.
CENTER: Alex Mack
Money Invested: $10.550M | Percentage of Cap: 5.3% | Need Level: MEDIUM
Overview: Alex Mack is still as reliable as they come but depth behind him is necessary due to age.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Grady Jarrett/Tyeler Davison | Depth: Deadrin Senat/Jacob Tuioti-Mariner
Money Invested: $16.287M | Percentage of Cap: 8.2% | Need Level: MEDIUM/HIGH
Overview: Tyeler Davison was brought over in free agency to fill a gap here but adding more interior bodies behind him and Grady Jarrett has to be a priority.
EDGE RUSHER: Takkarist McKinley/Dante Fowler Jr. | Depth: Allen Bailey/John Cominsky/Austin Larkin/Steven Means
Money Invested: $17.319M | Percentage of Cap: 8.7% | Need Level: HIGH
Overview: Dante Fowler Jr. will come in to take over for Vic Beasley and provide pressure off the edge opposite Takkarist McKinley. McKinley has had some issues staying healthy, so adding more pass rushers is necessary.
LINEBACKER: Foyesade Oluokun/Deion Jones/Ahmad Thomas | Depth: LaRoy Reynolds
Money Invested: $12.606M | Percentage of Cap: 6.4% | Need Level: HIGH
Overview: Deion Jones is a stud in the middle and Foyesade Oluokun has shown promise as a versatile defensive piece. The linebacker spot is left wide open and there’s no depth behind this group.
CORNERBACK: Isaiah Oliver/Kendall Sheffield | Depth: Blidi Wreh-Wilson/Jordan Miller
Money Invested: $3.75M | Percentage of Cap: 1.9% | Need Level: URGENT
Overview: Isaiah Oliver could step up this year but regardless, this is a massive position of need after the release of Desmond Trufant.
SAFETY: Keanu Neal/Ricardo Allen | Depth: Damontae Kazee/Sharrod Neasman/Chris Cooper/Jamal Carter/CJ Reavis
Money Invested: $16.666M | Percentage of Cap: 8.4% | Need Level: LOW
Overview: This is one of the few positions that the Falcons have completely covered. This team clearly has more glaring needs to address.
KICKER: Younghoe Koo | Money Invested: $0.750M | Percentage of Cap: 0.4% | Need Level: MEDIUM
PUNTER: Ryan Allen/Sam Irwin-Hill | Money Invested: $1.360M | Percentage of Cap: 0.7% | Need Level: LOW
LONG SNAPPER: Josh Harris | Money Invested: $1.050M | Percentage of Cap: 0.5% | Need Level: LOW
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