Falcons Could Address Pass Rush in Draft and Free Agency

Who could Falcons look at for pass-rush help in free agency?

Thomas Mott
March 02, 2020 - 1:00 am
Thomas Dimitroff

© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


With the NFL Combine now behind us and free agency looming, now is the time for a lot of speculation and predictions on what teams will and should do in the draft and free agency. To get some insight on what the Atlanta Falcons could do in free agency and what needs they might address in the draft, Thomas Mott took a few minutes to talk Falcons with the editor of the Falcoholic, David Walker. 

David and Thomas first touched on the Falcons salary cap issues and players the Falcons are most likely parting ways with. They started with tight end Austin Hooper. 

"He’s basically gone at this point,” as Walker says there is a 95 percent chance the Falcons former third-round pick is not coming back to the team. Next, they talked about Falcons running back Devonta Freeman possibly being a cap casualty. Walker thinks that the Falcons will be fine if they cut Freeman. 

“I think the Falcons actually have had a lot of success of waiting until third fourth round before drafting a running back,” Walker said, and also went on to say “I do think if they let Freeman walk, or cut him rather, that they will look for somebody in that range, maybe even that late second round pick as a surprise. But third, fourth round is there sweet spot, and I definitely think they would look for someone this year.” 

Thomas then switched gears toward the draft and asked David what he thinks would be the best case and worst case scenario for the Falcons with their draft pick at No. 16. Thomas said for him it would be a pass-rusher at best-cast scenario to which David agreed. Also, Walker’s worst-case scenario for the Falcons pick at 16 is running back saying selecting a running back that early is “a bit too expensive.”

However, Walker did go on to say that the second round, specifically the Patriots picks the Falcons acquired in the Mohammed Sanu trade, would be a great spot to take a running back. Walker says “You may get someone that could be a Day 1 starter, again if you’re looking to move on from Devonta Freeman.

To wrap up the interview Thomas reversed what he asked Walker in the beginning, and wanted his insight on what the Falcons could gain in this year’s free agency market. Walker explained to Thomas that he thinks the Falcons should explore signing another pass-rusher because he does not think the Falcons can completely solve their pass-rush problems solely in the draft. A name David recommended was Mario Addison who had some really productive years for the Carolina Panthers.

“He’s not a dominant pass-rusher per say," said Walker. "But he’s a guy that maybe can give you between seven to 10 sacks, and I think that’s the kind of guy I want to see them go after.” 

You can see why Walker, editor at The Falcoholic, is one of Thomas’ favorite interviews as he gives great insight to everything Dirty Birds. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Falcons will end up with at least two new pass-rushers on their team, but it will be interesting to see what else the Falcons do with all the decisions they have to make at other key positions. This Falcons team can possibly look very different than it has looked in the past five years, the question is if there is a slight overhaul of a portion of the Falcons roster will it benefit or hurt the Falcons?