Well well well….. it has been a train wreck of a season for the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan has looked non-existent, the running game has been stifled without the change of pace that was Tevin Coleman, and the secondary might as well be a bunch of tackling dummies just out there to look the part. With a franchise that should be in a “win now” mode due to the age of many of the stars on the team, it has been about as disastrous as anyone could have imagined. What should the Falcons do this offseason to build for the future since the present is in such shambles?
Dan Quinn has had ample opportunity to prove his worth with a former top 10 quarterback, a used-to-be dangerous running back combination, the most unguardable wide receiver in the NFL, and a young defense built like the defense he had in Seattle. It has clearly not worked over the past two seasons. Matt Ryan is regressing and Julio is going to be on the wrong side of 30 next year. The Falcons need an offensive mind to help rebuild the confidence in this offense that is 19th in average points per game this season. This team might be better off taking the Kansas City approach for a couple of years and just attempt to outscore everyone and hope the defense can make a stop or two a game.
Draft Matt Ryan’s Replacement
Currently the Falcons are slated to get a pick anywhere between 3rd and 6th with the current landscape. If Miami and Cincinnati continue their tragic form, those two teams will be selecting Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert respectively. The next two quarterbacks on the board, Joe Burrow and Jacob Eason, may have value at these positions, but this seems a bit high for a couple of guys that have just come on the scene in college football. Burrow could be worth the gamble, but trading down to a team that could need a guy like Chase Young or Grant Delpit and gaining more draft assets might be the best way to go for the Falcons.
Don’t Trade the Pick and Take Chase Young or Jeffery Okudah
This might seem like playing devil’s advocate a touch but this team needs some talent on defense. If they could either the best defensive end or the best corner in the upcoming draft, they may have something to look forward to on a defense that has just not lived up to expectations. Both players could be franchise players and cornerstones to help build this defense into something that resembles one.
Get What you can Get for Vic Beasley and Mohamed Sanu
With this season being a wash, draft assets are going to be the clear way to improve this team on both sides of the ball. Vic Beasley has been reported to be on the trade block and he has really under preformed outside of one season for Atlanta. Sanu seems like a surplus to requirement with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley occupying the outside and slot wide receiver spots. Atlanta could afford to get younger and more cost effective at receiver and Sanu seems to be the odd man out in this team. (Update: Sanu to the Pats for a second round pick. Written one day prior)
Overall this team has a decent roster on offense and a roster on defense that needs many holes filled. This is not a one year rebuild so holding on to guys that are in the twilight of their career would be a mistake. Atlanta is suffering an identity crisis and the only way to solve this issue is make some massive coaching changes and player changes.