With just under two weeks to go before the 2019 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons appear poised to focus on improving their defense in the early rounds.
The Atlanta Falcons are a difficult team to figure out in the 2019 NFL draft. Just three years removed from their crushing defeat in Super Bowl LII, the primary pieces are still in place on offense to make a strong playoff run in the NFC.
It’s assumed defense will be the pick in the first round this year, and for good reason. The Falcons ranked 28th in yards allowed in 2018 and were 27th against the pass. This year’s draft will offer Atlanta a cluster of appealing pass rushers at the 14th pick, and while there’s a chance they could opt for an offensive lineman or defensive back, the smart money is on an edge defender joining the roster.
The Falcons were tied for 22nd in the NFL with just 37 sacks last season.
If Atlanta does go with an edge rusher in the first round, it will mark another significant investment in the position. Former first-round picks Vic Beasley (2015) and Tak McKinley (2017) are the slated starters, but Beasley was the team’s lowest-graded defender by Pro Football Focus in 2018 and is in the last year of his deal; the Falcons picked up his fifth-year option in what equates to a make-or-break season for the once-promising pass rusher.
Here’s what a potential three-round haul can be for the Falcons in the 2019 NFL draft.