Falcons Offseason Needs NFL 2022: Free Agency and Draft Preview
The Falcons are such a weird team that I can never figure them out. As far as Falcons offseason needs, the need for the Falcons is to just rebuild. There is a lot of uncertainty in the NFC South, and if the Falcons want to dominate it in a couple of years, they need to play their cards right now. None of this wishy-washy bullshit where they ALMOST contend for a playoff spot every year. They need to tank and build their roster.
Falcons Free Agency
That might be hard considering their cap situation. With 29 people currently signed going into 2022, they only have about $13 million in cap space. YIKES. That’s another reason why they don’t need to rush this and don’t even try to compete right now. They could be in a worse situation like their division rival Saints. Understand that when you’re broke, you’re broke and to be smart with your money. That includes letting guys like Dante Fowler Jr. walk despite being a good player. Cordarrelle Patterson is looking for a big contract with the year he just had. Hayden Hurst should walk. Those are just ways to save money. Despite this being a good year to acquire some DE and Secondary help in free agency, the Falcons need smart team-friendly deals. Get some young guys that might have the potential to be really good, maybe some old veterans that just need a 1-year contract. The key here is just to be smart with their money with the little they have.
They are not in a bad spot for the draft though to address the Falcons offseason needs. They have their 1st, 2 2nd rounds, and a 3rd round pick. They should be able to get some great talent for this. At their 8th overall pick, the Falcons have to be thinking defense here. Getting the best defensive player off the board is ideal here. I do think Thibodeaux, Hutchinson, and Stingley Jr. are off the board here. But there is a solid defensive talent on the board. They can go DT with Jordan Davis or DeMarvin Leal. Kyle Hamilton is the best safety in this class and might drop to them. George Karlaftis at EDGE would be solid. At LB, Devin Lloyd or Nakobe Dean would-be killer. Andrew Booth Jr. at CB would suffice as well. That gives the Falcons quite a selection depending on how the draft falls to them. But, they have to fix the defense. I think the offense can survive as long as the defense is getting better. The 1st round pick must be a defensive player. Given their cap situation, trading down and getting more bang for their buck with picks might be a great option. They could still get one of these guys mentioned above and get more depth on the defensive side.
For their 2nd round picks, they could do a lot of things here to address the Falcons offseason needs. They should have a pick at 43 first. While I was all in for the Falcons taking Kyle Pitts in 2020, some disagreed and thought the Falcons should take advantage of the QB class and get their eventual QB of the future. It was a win-win situation for the Falcons. Now, I don’t mind the Falcons taking a QB in the 2nd round here. Yes, this QB class is really weak, but I don’t mind the Falcons taking a QB in the 2nd. This QB class has NO 1st round talent. 2nd and 3rd round talent is more suited for this class. While the Falcons could wait until next year or a few years to draft a QB. Getting a QB sooner to sit him a few years to learn under Matt Ryan might be the Falcons’ best plan of action. Especially since they will not be contending any time soon and could use these years to develop a young QB and not rush him into a bad situation. Ryan is 36, at most, I’d say he has about 2-3 years left. Develop a QB now to help him later. Now, this really only works if they can get one of the 4 that I kinda like from this class. Which is Matt Corral, Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, or Desmond Ridder. Anyone else? Fuck them. Matt Corral might be their best bet after being injured in his bowl game, his stock might drop because of that.
If the Falcons pick in the 2nd round and NONE of these guys are on the board at QB, cut your losses and go elsewhere. If those QBs aren’t available, let’s start looking at LB here. I like the idea of getting Brandon Smith, Christian Harris, or even Darrian Beavers. If they chose Devin Lloyd or Nakobe Dean, that just means they would double up on LB, which wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. Devonte Wyatt and Phidadrian Mathis should be available at DT. Kalir Elam or Trent McDuffie might be on the board at CB. Myjal Sanders and Drake Jackson could be available here. It doesn’t really matter too much on the Falcons 1st round pick as long as it is a defensive pick. Getting two good defensive picks early should be a start to fixing the defense.
With their second 2nd round pick at 58, I am torn. This also just depends on how the board falls to them. With the possibility of losing Cordarrelle Patterson, and Mike Davis just not being good enough, I don’t hate the idea of going RB here. However, as mentioned, this depends on how the board falls to them. If they have their choice of Isaiah Spiller, Kenneth Walker, and James Cook still being available to them. They might want to chance it and see if one of these 3 is available in the 3rd round. However, if there’s only one of them left in the 2nd round, they should choose whoever is left. Kyren Williams might drop to the 3rd and be a solid pickup for them as a RB4.
Despite it being the 2nd or 3rd round, the other idea here is to pick a WR. With Calvin Ridley being out last year, the Falcons just really lacked that WR2 option. Russell Gage is just okay and he might be heading to free agency this year. Let’s pick up a promising rookie WR here and try to help that offense out. Maybe a guy like Jahan Dotson, David Bell, George Pickens, or even Justyn Ross drops this far, let’s pick them up here. There’s plenty of positive talk from Wan’Dale Robinson from Kentucky and the former track star in Calvin Austin III too. That would be a solid 3rd round pickup with their WR room dealing with so much uncertainty.
Despite the moves the Falcons make, they’re just not in a position to contend right now. Being smart with their money and just building their roster through draft picks seems to be the move for them. Picking the best available player at each hole will be their best option. Be patient Falcons fans, the NFC South should be wide open soon enough, and maybe the Falcons dominate it if they play their cards right. That is, if and when Tom Brady ever retires, I hate that guy.
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