With the Atlanta Falcons 2023 season seemingly at a crossroads, it may take something drastic for the team to get back on track. On Monday, Bleacher Report’s NFL staff suggested adding veteran edge rusher Melvin Ingram to help.
Ingram has made the Pro Bowl three times in his 11-year NFL career.
“While Arnold Ebiketie has been winning as a pass-rusher more frequently lately, Bud Dupree and Lorenzo Carter still aren’t generating enough pressure off the edge, which makes this position a need for the Falcons right now,” the Bleacher Report NFL staff wrote.
“Ingram would be a good addition for their playoff push down the stretch of the campaign, as he logged six sacks in just three starts with the Dolphins last year. He could come off the bench and serve as a third-down rusher for the team to close out the year.”
Most Falcons fans would probably prefer the team try to look for free agent options to improve the team’s offense. Against the previously one-win Arizona Cardinals, the Falcons threw for only 70 passing yards in Week 10.
But quarterback is Atlanta’s biggest issue on offense. That won’t be fixed in the middle of a season through free agency.
However, passing rushing depth could get a boost that way.
Ingram has posted two double-digit 10-sack seasons in his career. He made the Pro Bowl three years in a row from 2017-19.
As BR noted, Ingram recorded 6 sacks last season. He also had 7 tackles for loss and 10 quarterback hits in 512 defensive snaps.
Even at 34 years old, he could contribute in a rotational role.
With Ingram, the Falcons could play more 2-edge sets because they would have a fourth quality edge rusher in their rotation.
Atlanta has produced a lot of pressure on the quarterback but not a ton of sacks. The Falcons are seventh in pressure rate at 25.4%, but they are tied for 21st in sacks with 21.
Arnold Ebiketie leads the team’s edge rushers with 3.5 sacks. Bud Dupree and Lorenzo Carter have 3 and 2 sacks, respectively.
With another edge rusher on the roster, maybe the Falcons pass rushers are a little fresher. Theoretically, Dupree and Carter would play fewer snaps if the Falcons signed Ingram.
Perhaps that results in more of the team’s pressure leading to potentially game-changing sacks.
It’s worth the Falcons at least exploring the possibility. Atlanta keeping the status quo after a three-game losing streak is not the answer.