With the 2022 NFL draft officially behind us, rosters are taking shape and we have a better idea of how each team has improved going into camp. The Falcons, who had arguably as many holes as any other team, couldn’t address every position but they did fill a few needs and add depth.
After adding eight players in the draft, let’s check out where the team has improved most and where there is still some work to be done.
Where did the Falcons improve the most?
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Off the jump, the most noticeable upgrade comes from the defensive edge as the Falcons double-dipped on day two at this position to draft Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone from Western Kentucky. These two players are expected to play a large role along the team’s defensive front as both starting outside linebackers from last season won’t be returning.
These two picks accompany Lorenzo Carter, who Atlanta signed during free agency, and will likely be rotational figures early on with other second-year players from last year’s draft class.
Atlanta opened up the draft by taking a receiver. Drake London should walk into Flowery Branch as the undisputed number one receiver, but will still need time to fully learn the ropes of the NFL and Arthur Smith’s offensive system. However, I would’ve liked to have seen the team add another receiver. Drafting London was a great start, but Atlanta could have landed another potential second or third wideout on day two. Hopefully, Auden Tate is enough to keep this unit productive.
Which positions still need work?
It’s almost impossible to address every need in one draft, and the offensive line woes took a backseat until the third day when the Falcons selected Justin Shaffer in round six. While the Georgia guard could develop into a quality NFL player, you’d like to see the team address one of its weakest positions in the earlier rounds.
Taking Montana State’s Troy Andersen in round two may ultimately pan out, but adding depth at inside linebacker didn’t seem to be as big of a need as the offensive line. Especially when the Falcons have Deion Jones, Mykal Walker and Rashaan Evans — unless something else is in store for Jones.
Another area the team could have addressed was the defensive secondary. Tyler Allgeier was a solid choice where he was selected, but the running back room is already crowded and likely to be trimmed anyway. Going cornerback or safety here would’ve given Atlanta depth at a less crowded position.
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