What are the Falcons’ biggest positional needs ahead of free agency?

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Matt Urben
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1). Running Back

The team has not given any indication of bringing back Todd Gurley and Brian Hill is also a free agent. Arthur Smith may not be planning to run the same offense he did in Tennessee, but he will surely look to improve the rushing attack.

2). Interior Offensive Line

Falcons guard James Carpenter was released on Wednesday and center Alex Mack is probably too expensive to retain. This leaves just Matt Hennessy, who’s capable of playing either spot.

3). EDGE rusher

Dean Pees plans to run a multiple-front defense that will surely require an upgrade at the outside linebacker/defensive end spot where Dante Fowler is the only true EDGE on the roster.

4). Safety

Ricardo Allen was released, and both Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee are set to hit free agency. With just Jaylinn Hawkins coming back, the team will need multiple safeties to add both depth and starters.

5). Tight End

Hayden Hurst had a nice season and isn’t going anywhere this season, however, there’s little depth behind him and his long-term future is uncertain.

6). Cornerback

A.J. Terrell is a No. 1 corner, but the roster is filled with uncertainty beyond the former first-round pick. The team needs a No. 2 CB and a nickel with Darqueze Dennard hitting free agency.

7). Quarterback

Matt Ryan is getting up there, but he could potentially thrive in Arthur Smith’s offense. With Matt Schaub retiring, though, the Falcons must add someone at QB.

8). Kick/Punt Returner

Brandon Powell wasn’t a game-breaker last season, but was fairly effective. With a new special teams coach taking over, Powell may not be re-signed, leaving a hole at the kick/punt returner position.

9.) Punter

Punter isn’t a huge need for Atlanta, but rookie Sterling Hofrichter didn’t have a great season in 2020. His 42.5 yard average per punt was 25th in the league, and his net average of 39.3 yards was 18th.

10). Wide Receiver

The receiver position is arguably the Falcons’ greatest strength entering the season. It’s not a pressing need, but could be a year or two from now depending on what happens with Russell Gage and Calvin Ridley.