Atlanta Falcons: Pass Rush Improvement Must Come From Within

Atlanta Falcons, De'Vondre Campbell #59 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, De'Vondre Campbell #59 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons, Takkarist McKinley (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Falcons elected to not draft a pass rusher in the 2019 NFL Draft. With very few options remaining on the free agent market and very little cap space, Atlanta must rely on the players they have to generate more pressure. Using De’Vondre Campbell more as a pass rusher, could be the answer to the Falcons pass rush woes.

The Atlanta Falcons defense has improved a lot since Dan Quinn took over as head coach. When healthy in 2017, the Falcons defense proved that fact by finishing in the top ten. Yet the main element that the Atlanta defense is lacking is a ferocious pass rush. This is something that Atlanta must fix, in order for the defense to get to the next level.

The Atlanta Falcons Starters

Vic Beasley who was taken in the top ten of the 2015 NFL Draft, has been a major disappointment for the Atlanta Falcons, with the exception of the 2016 season. That year Vic Beasley had his coming out party, leading the entire NFL with 15.5 sacks. Yet the last two years Vic Beasley has regressed back to the level of his rookie season. Beasley has logged only five sacks in each of those last two seasons. In fact combine that total with the four sacks of his rookie year and those three years combined don’t add up to Beasley’s 2016 total. I am of the belief that Atlanta should have cut its losses and moved on from Vic Beasley. I stated such in this article. Instead Beasley returns at a salary if 12.8 million dollars and is being counted on to regain his 2016 form.

Takk McKinley the team’s 2017 first round draft pick, is entering his third season as a defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons. He had a solid rookie season with six sacks in a reserve role. The hope for McKinley was that he would have a breakout season in year two, instead he increased his sack total by only one, registering seven sacks last season. Now that he will be entering year three, Takk finally reaching double figures in sacks will be key in the Atlanta Falcons pass rush reaching its full potential.