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1) Tight End - This may not be the most 'attractive' need. Not many fans really see this position as a need for us, but I think it is rightfully on top of the list of needs. Matt Ryan desperately needs a reliable redzone target, so a tight end with receiving ability is needed here. However, keep in mind that Mularkey's offense in Atlanta has tight ends as blockers first and receivers second. So if the tight end has amazing receiving ability but outrageously terrible blocking, forget it, we won't be drafting that tight end.
2) Safety - Lawyer Milloy is getting up there, and he's already shown that he will not last until next year. I'm not talking about health-wise, I'm talking about performance-wise. While Milloy still shows that he can lay the wood here and there, he has also shown his handicap in the zone coverage. It's safe to say that Milloy has definitely last more than a step since coming into the NFL. A strong safety is needed, but if we were draft a safety more suited to play the free safety position in the NFL, then I think Erik Coleman would move over to the strong safety position to allow the new acquisition to play his more natural position.
3) Outside Linebacker - The same goes for outside linebacker as it goes with safety. Captain Brooking is just bad this year. Brooking's performance does not warrant his contract, which is the second highest paid of all the linebackers in the league.
4) Center - McClure is a solid center, but he's also getting up there in age. However, he's not really showing his true age unlike Brooking and Milloy. Stepanovich is a solid backup, but I don't think he matches this offensive scheme. I think the Falcons will draft a project center. Someone like Alex Mack will start as soon as possible, but I don't think the Falcons see the center position as an immediate need with McClure still having some gas left in the tank.
5) Defensive Tackle - You can never have enough pass rushers, so whenever you can get a pass rushing DT, it's always a plus. But with the Falcons, it must be a run stuffer as well. Grady Jackson can fill in the starting position this year, but I doubt he will last next year. Maybe as a veteran backup, but I'd rather see Trey Lewis before seeing Grady Jackson start next year. Anyways, if we can find good value at the nose tackle position, we'd be set for a solid front four.
Those are just the Top 5 needs. I'll post the rest over at the FalcBlog.
I'd put center at 3, receiver at 5, and defensive tackle at 4. We don't have young players at any of those positions, at outside linebacker we have Nicholas and next year Robert James should be healthy. Not great, but more impressive than what we have at center and defensive tackle.
ACC Champions 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010
All these needs will be suspect depending on who we re-sign/FA (obviously). Either way Ryan needs another target, point blank. Secondary needs a playmaker, and DL needs a well balanced DT stud. OL is next and then OLB. Lastly is a return man and depth players.
HD did fine today, he wasn't as aggressive as I would have liked but their punter did a horrible job with punts today leaving them so short he couldn't get to them without putting the possession in harms way. Glad to see him back there.
Safety is my #1 need, because it changes our defense completely, I have OLB at #2 because we've seen what a good heavy rotation of DTs can do for our team, and Brooking is killing us out there, he needs to be replaced with a big time guy, Aaron Curry is flying up my list of players. I'd have TE at 4 at best, cause behind the #1 and #2 I have a return guy at #3. A great TE would be a nice addition, but it's not a NEED. It'd just be a nice luxury to have. Our TEs have done what they've been asked to do, block and catch the ball.
Jenkins is not a true number two. If we want an elite offense then we need another receiver.
Jenkins would be a great number three, though. But Douglas is that guy.
Foxworth looked awesome because it was the Raiders. I'll judge him after the next two games.
What he said.
And Haynesworth is going to ask for a LOT of money. So I'm doubting whether or not it's a smart investment. Would it be ill-advised to sign a nose tackle like Haynesworth? ...but keep in mind if we do that, we will be closing the doors to more free agents being signed because although we all realize that Arthur Blank is willing to open his wallet to bring in what Dimitroff would believe to be key players, we all know Haynesworth will surely put a dent on our cap. So obviously the question is... would Haynesworth be worth it?
Haynesworth needs to stay in TN, keep his attitude in check there. Let him produce in the AFC that's fine, we don't need a personality like that in our locker room and our salary cap doesn't need that much strain. Keep in mind folks, we're getting Trey Lewis back...I know he's got a lot to prove if he can play again, but man he showed us a lot last year, I'm hoping he can get back to that form, and if he can, we'll have a great DT rotation.