Atlanta Falcons Team Preview
Falcons Dyntasy Breakdown.
Roster Highlights: Matt Ryan, Todd Gurley, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Deion Jones, Damontae Kazee, AJ Terrell, Keanu Neal
Biggest Strength: Wide Receiver, Safety
Biggest Weakness: Running Back, Pass Rusher, Outside linebacker
Cap Space: 49.6 million
Projected 2021 pick: Mid to late round
Matt Ryan is at a decent price for his age. 18.9 for the next three years gives time for you to draft another QB year two. Matt Schaub is 39 years old on a one year deal. There is no plan in place to replace Ryan which is something that needs to be looked at.
From an outsider perspective this is the biggest position of weakness. Gurley will be on a snap count most likely and the Falcons are not prepared to go running back by committee. Gurleys low salary would be appealing for some win now teams. Brian Hill has proven nothing more then a goal line back. When given the time to shine he has always faltered. Ito Smith is also hit and miss. Ollison may be cut and the Falcons will likely look to bring another back in to compete possibly for passing downs.
This is the real strength of the time. Julio Jones still puts up top 3 production. With a salary over 20 million dollars he is borderline untradable given his age and money given. Calvin Ridley is only 25 and the heir apparent. He has talent and would be the number one on around 20 other teams in the league. He will be getting paid soon but will be worth it for sure. Russell Gage showed flashes and Treadwell is a former first round talent and are currently very cheap.
Hayden Hurst is a former first round pick by a team that really knows how to pick TE. Ozzie Newsome of the Ravens has picked Todd Heap, Dennis Pitta and Mark Andrews all in the last 15 years that have gone to the pro bowl. Tight ends normally take several years to get going with the outliers being Gronk. Expect big things from Hurst to include him being a top 10 TE in the league when scoring is done this year.
The Falcons have sunk some money into there Dline problem. McKinley is still promising at 24 years old. He will never be considered elite but there’s hope he can get to the 8-10 sack range. Grady Jarrett can clog the lanes and falls into the 5-7 sack range per year. They could really use an elite pass rusher. It’s an average Dline. Not great but not terrible.
The linebacker corps is highlighted by Deion Jones who if healthy is a good a complete linebacker as in the league. Health has been an issue in the past of course. He as paid 3/4 of his games but was banged up during 2019 and missed a major chunk of 2018. A little undersized for linebacker this may catch up with him later as he is basically the size of a big safety. Dante Fowler was brought in after rejuvenating his career in LA and they hope this will help with there poor pass rush situation. Fowler has been a disappointing tale for the most part being drafted number 3 overall and this is his 3rd team in his first 5 years. Time will tell. Deone Bucannon was brought in and hopefully he can regain his health to join Jones as another versatile piece on the Falcons defense.
The Falcons choose to address there secondary problem by selecting AJ Terrell in the first round this year. At 6’1 he has great size and speed at corner and hopefully can develop into a shut down corner. Kazee and Neal give help over the top and can be one of the best safety tandems in the league. Neal’s health is a huge concern as he has basically missed two fulls seasons since coming into the league despite having pro bowl type talent.
The Falcons should once again have a top 8-12 offense in the league as pass happy as they are. With an average defense they will have to put up big numbers to win week to week.