Atlanta Falcons uokin
Danny Karnik/AP

The Atlanta Falcons have yet to bounce back from losing the Super Bowl. It does not appear likely that will change for new head coach Arthur Smith. While every team has been working to get better, it seems like the Atlanta Falcons keep getting worse. Don’t believe me? You will after you read this.

No Names on Defense

What the heck are you doing Atlanta? This defense used to be electric. Now, they can’t even make a spark. I can’t even tell you who some of these guys are. Okay, I’ll try to be positive for second here. Deion Jones and Foysade Oluokun are bright spots for the linebacker core. However, MyKal Walker, who again I have no idea who that is, has no sacks. Yes, he is only in his second year, but you need to get production from a young weak side linebacker. The Falcons did not draft any linebackers, and the depth is very underwhelming.

Grady Jarrett is a solid defensive tackle and Dante Flower is a solid end/edge rusher. Marlon Davidson better find a way to crack the starting lineup in the 4-3 front because Tyeler Davison isn’t getting anybody excited mainly because nobody knows who that is. Sensing a pattern here? The other defensive end spot is occupied by Jacob Tuioti- Mariner who only has one sack. Ta’Quon Graham and Adetokunbo Ogundeji were both taken in round five from Texas and Notre Dame respectively. It is hard to see them making an impact right away.

A lot of members from the secondary walked in free agency, so besides AJ Terrell, your starting from scratch in terms of starters. Terrell sometimes had a tough go as a rookie, but he has upside. See Falcons fans? I’m still being a little positive. Second round pick Richie Grant from UCF is slated to be the starting strong safety with Duron Harmon as the free. That is a mistake, Harmon is only good for catching deflected passes. Free agency addition Erik Harris should be the starting free safety for the team. Finally, Kendall Sheffield is the other starting corner. The Falcons drafted corners Darren Hall and Avery Williams in rounds four and five from San Diego State, and Boise State respectively. This defense needs immediate impact players, and it doesn’t look like they drafted any.

Switch it Up

The offense is nothing to write home about either. Matt Ryan is washed up. The system needs a facelift and it starts with a new QB. Mike Davis coming over as the new starting back wasn’t a terrible move, but he isn’t a game changer. However, Calvin Ridley is. Too bad he doesn’t have a lot of help. Russell Gage is alright as a second receiver, let’s see if he can improve after breaking out. The third receiver right now is Olamide Zaccheaus.

Don’t ask me how you pronounce that because I have no clue. With only two touchdowns to his name and only one in 2020, we need to see more of him before making a fair assessment. Maybe sixth round pick Frank Darby from Arizona State can push him out of a job. I don’t care how good Kyle Pitts is, the Falcons should not have picked him. Not because of him, but because they needed an elite defensive player. Pitts is an elite tight end but his rookie year is going to be wasted.

Finally, the offensive line from left to right is made up of Jake Matthews, Matt Gono, Matt Hennessey, Chris Lindstrom, and Kaleb McGary. Protection was a big problem in 2020. Hopefully this mix of young talent and veterans can help out. It’s to early to speculate what kind of roll Jalen Mayfield, the third round pick from Michigan may have. He is currently McGary’s backup which could change. Overall, don’t expect the Atlanta Falcons to do much besides lose this year.

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