Atlanta Falcons: Areas to improve in free agency


The Atlanta Falcons aren’t going to solve all of their offseason issues in the 2016 NFL Draft. Here are some areas the team can improve in with free agency.

The Atlanta Falcons only have five picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, as they had to forfeit their fifth round pick this year because of the embarrassing 2014 Noisegate Scandal and their sixth round pick belongs to the Tennessee Titans from the late preseason trade to acquire left guard Andy Levitre.

While the Atlanta Falcons have only made four cuts this offseason to free up cap space, what areas of the team are the Falcons going to have to upgrade in free agency as opposed to the 2016 NFL Draft?

Expect head coach Dan Quinn to bring in a veteran linebacker to aid in his defensive front seven. It will probably be a player Quinn is familiar with and knows will thrive in his 4-3 Under Base defensive scheme.

Players to keep an eye on in free agency at linebacker are the Seattle Seahawks’ Bruce Irvin and the Denver Broncos’ Danny Trevathan. Both would flourish in Atlanta playing in Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme. Irvin played for Quinn in Seattle and Trevathan played for Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator for several years in Denver.

More from Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta will probably look to upgrade its interior offensive both in the draft and in free agency. While the Falcons may look to go with a center in the second to fourth round, they’ll probably look for a guard or two on the free agent market.

Right guard Chris Chester played well in 2015, but is a free agent. Left guard Andy Levitre while still under contract may have been a temporary solution in Atlanta for the 2015 NFL season. Expect the Atlanta Falcons to go for scheme fit over anything else on the interior of their offensive line in free agency. Perhaps offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will bring in a guy that played for him in Houston, Washington, or Cleveland?

The third probable position that the Atlanta Falcons will look to upgrade through free agency is at safety. Atlanta cut veteran strong safety William Moore to free up cap space, but the strong safety market isn’t particularly deep this free agency period.

Maybe the Carolina Panthers’ Roman Harper is a guy to consider as a replacement for Moore in the Atlanta Falcons’ secondary. However, Atlanta does seem to like how third year pro Kemal Ishmael has developed, so maybe he assumes the starting role. Regardless, expect the Falcons to address safety in free agency as opposed to the NFL Draft.

Next: Atlanta Falcons: 5 centers to consider drafting

More needs in free agency may arise if the Atlanta Falcons decide to cut several more players to free up cap space. However, the three areas we can expect that the Falcons will address in free agency are linebacker, interior offensive line, and safety. They could go wide receiver, but that feels like more of a position the front office will address in the NFL Draft.