The Atlanta Falcons head into 2023 with a sense of optimism having survived two seasons of salary-cap hell and outplaying expectations.
Free agency opens on March 15th, and the Falcons are heading into shopping season with the second-most available salary-cap space according to Spotrac. The last-two seasons, the Falcons were having to cut salary just to be able to sign their draft classes… that’s cap hell.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently did a breakdown on each NFL team that included its biggest need and key free agents to retain. When it came to the Falcons’ biggest need, PFF pulled no punches.
In their first post-Matt Ryan season, the Falcons fielded an effective and entertaining offense. It was the most run-heavy system in football, calling run plays on over 50% of their snaps, but the defense was lagging way behind and needs a complete overhaul.
As a unit, the Falcons ranked 30th in expected points added (EPA) allowed per play and allowed a score on a league-worst 43.5% of their drives faced. There are a couple of players who belong, but there’s no level of the defense that doesn’t need an injection of talent. — PFF
That the Falcons could use an infusion of talent at virtually every position is reflected in the mock drafts being released. There’s no consensus for the Falcons’ No. 8 pick, and there shouldn’t be.
If you take a look at the premium positions in the NFL, quarterback, wide receiver, offensive tackle, cornerback, and edge, Atlanta could use a gamechanger at each of those.
Six different players from five different positions are picked in a round up of 10 mock drafts compiled by the Atlanta Falcons.
Quarterback and offensive tackle may be the most secure of those positions, but Kaleb McGary is a free agent next month, and would the Falcons pass on Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud?
Stroud is taken in two of the 10 mock drafts the Falcons compiled on their official site.
If there was a top-ten wide receiver in this class, you can bet the Falcons would be linked with him as well.
Yes, the Falcons need help just about everywhere on their roster.
But they have five of the top-150 draft picks and a boatload of cash to address those needs. The Falcons survived the last two seasons, and the rebuild can begin in earnest in 2023.