The 2019 NFL Draft is this month, which means that The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be looked at heading into this year’s draft including what their needs are and who they could be targeting. The Atlanta Falcons will be the 14th team evaluated.
Atlanta had hopes of making the playoffs, but only got seven wins on the season. They had a rough year, but finished the season with three straight wins. Head coach Dan Quinn has been retained and will look to lead the Falcons back to the playoffs.
Their offense was in the top 10 in the league averaging 25.9 points per game. The passing game was great, as they threw for just under 300 yards per game. Matt Ryan threw for 4,924 yards and 35 touchdowns to lead the offense. Julio Jones had over 1,600 receiving yards, while Mo Sanu and Calvin Ridley each had over 800. Devonta Freeman was only able to play in two games due to injury and Tevin Coleman was limited to just 800 rushing yards, meaning the running game wasn’t good. The offensive line had bright spots, but could be upgraded. Coleman is now in San Francisco, but the rest of the offense is intact.
The defense allowed 26.4 points per game, which was a major problem in 2018. Their interior defensive line was solid with Grady Jarrett, but more was needed. Takkarist McKinley and Vic Beasley Jr. were the edge rushers, but they only registered 37 sacks as a team. They have a good linebacker in Deion Jones, but not much outside of him at the position. Their secondary is solid with Desmond Trufant, Isaiah Oliver, Damontae Kazee, Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal. Most of the defense has stayed relatively the same, with nickel corner Brian Poole leaving the team.
2019 NFL Draft Picks
Atlanta has nine picks in the 2019 NFL Draft
First Round (one pick): No. 14
Second Round (one pick): No. 45
Third Round (one pick): No. 79
Fourth Round (two picks): No. 117, No. 137
Fifth Round (two picks): No. 152, No. 172
Sixth Round (one pick): No. 186
Seventh Round (one pick): No. 230
Offensive Guards- Atlanta is solid at tackle and center, but their guards need to be improved to help the team run the football better.
Defensive Tackle- Jarrett is good, but they need someone else to help man the middle of the defensive line.
Edge Rusher- McKinley and Beasley simply aren’t putting enough pressure on quarterbacks. If they can’t get after the quarterback, they need to be replaced.
Linebacker- Jones is the only great linebacker on the roster and they need some more depth.
Cornerback- They have Oliver, Trufant and Kazee, but need a few more cornerbacks to make sure they can play well if someone gets injured.
2019 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 14: Montez Sweat, Edge Rusher, Mississippi State
The Falcons need to improve their defensive line and can start in round one. If they get a better pass rush, they can find success as a team again. Sweat is an athletic pass rusher, who can help in the run as well. He will be a nice replacement or complement to Beasley and McKinley to produce more sacks.
Pick No. 45: Jerry Tillery, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame
Tillery can play defensive tackle in the Falcons’ 4-3 scheme. He is very disruptive as both a run defender and pass rusher, but can be inconsistent at times. Putting him next to Jarrett will make the defensive line a tough matchup for any offense.
Pick No. 79: Connor McGovern, Offensive Guard/Center, Penn State
He may not be drafted until the third round but McGovern can probably start for an NFL team in 2019. The Falcons could use his help in improving their running game and keeping Matt Ryan upright for the next several seasons.