The Atlanta Falcons lost tight end Austin Hooper to the Browns in free agency and released cornerback Desmond Trufant, linebacker Vic Beasley and running back Devonta Freeman. Freeman was likely gone no matter, but the Falcons lack of cap space made keeping Trufant, Beasley and Hooper difficult.
The biggest moves they’ve made so far are acquiring linebacker Dante Fowler, running back Todd Gurley and tight end Hayden Hurst from the Ravens as their Hooper replacement. All were good and needed moves, filling obvious holes.
2020 Draft Picks
Round 1, pick 16 (No. 16 overall): A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
Round 2, pick 15 (No. 47 overall): Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn
Round 3, pick 14 (No. 78 overall): Matt Hennessy, C, Temple
Round 4, pick 13 (No. 119 overall): Mykal Walker, ILB, Fresno State
Round 4, pick 28 (No. 134 overall): Jaylinn Hawkins, S, Cal
Round 7, pick 14 (No. 228 overall): Sterling Hofrichter, P, Syracuse
The offense is still strong overall, as Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Todd Gurley and the offensive line all are above average. Losing Austin Hooper stings, but Hayden Hurst has upside. The Falcons are more likely to work on defensive options early in the draft.
The loss of Trufant leaves a huge void in the secondary and an obvious need early in the draft but the Falcons also need more help attacking the quarterback after ranking 28th in adjusted sack rate. Fowler is a strong addition, but the loss of Beasley and De’Vondre Campbell weaken an overall weak defensive line.
Dream first pick
Grabbing an edge rusher or cornerback with the 16th overall pick is the direction we’ll probably see the Falcons take. But, they could end up trading back for more picks, as the middle of the first round can be tricky, especially without a strong group of cornerbacks to choose from at that point.
LSU’s edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson would be a home run pick if he falls to the Falcons, as he’s got the potential to be a star at defensive end and teamed up with Fowler, could make the Falcons line a strong group in 2020. If they don’t trade for more picks, he’s the dream pick.