Grading the Draft: Atlanta Falcons edition
Draft Needs: DE, OT, S, TE, WR
Key Additions: DT Paul Soliai (five years, $32 million), DE Tyson Jackson (five years, $25 million), OG Jon Asamoah (five years, $22.5 million), WR/KR Devin Hester (three years, $9 million)
Key Losses: Tony Gonzalez (retirement), Thomas DeCoud (cut)
I don’t know who in the ATL pissed off the sports Gods but man were they heated! Beginning the year we were talking about Matt Ryan making that next step to the elite level and by the end of the year we had him on a 24hr watch. Injuries stacked up on the Falcons like unpaid bills. So with that in mind and the permanent loss of future HOF TE Tony Gonzalez you’d figure the receiving core would get addressed early and often…also protection for their $103 million dollar investment. Their first pick was OT Jake Matthews out of A&M. Let’s settle this now-Jake Matthews is…not probably…IS the most technically sound AND BEST OT in the draft AND will be a starter for years to come. Ra’Shede Hageman will fit well with their scheme at DT/DE and they drafted a TE…wait…WR…wait…let me look at this list again…free safety, running back, linebacker, corner, linebacker, linebacker, linebacker…nope…no serious offensive help at all. Didn’t learn a thing from last year, did you? Ok…I completely understand wanting to beef up and toughen up that defense but another injury bug-or shall I say injury epidemic-like the one that hit last year and you’ll have no choice but to call and start Freddie Mitchell. Yeah. That scared me too. And let’s be serious for a second-Devin Hester is NOT a real viable WR option. Oh, and if you’re going to address the defense…get a pass rusher. They’re kind of important.
Draft Grade: Atlanta Falcons – C+