2011 NFL Draft: Are the Falcons Looking to Go Offense or Defense in Round One?
The 2011 NFL Draft is just over a month away, so are the Falcons looking to bulk up on their offensive or defensive line?
The Atlanta Falcons had the best record in the NFC last season, but they got trounced by the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs. So, what do the Falcons need to improve on heading into the 2011 NFL season?
This team really doesn't have a ton of holes, but if you had to point out one or two, it would have to be on both the offensive and defensive line. With a young quarterback like Matt Ryan, who is on the verge of NFL stardom, it is always a plus to get him some more protection.
On the other side, John Abraham is getting up there in age and outside of him, this team doesn't have much of a pass rush from their defensive line.
"Houston has the size (6-foot-2, 270 pounds) and pass-rush skills to be an effective right end in a 4-3 system. He would also find himself in a good situation playing behind and learning from Falcons DE John Abraham, who had 13 sacks in 2010 but will turn 33 during the offseason."
There should be a lot of quality defensive ends coming off the board right around this point of the draft. Guys like Ryan Kerrigan, Muhammad Wilkerson, Cam Heyward, Cam Jordan and Allen Bailey could also all be available here.
If you had to choose between any of those guys, the top pick should be Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan. He is strong, smart, and has that non-stop motor, which NFL coaches love in a player.
"Kerrigan, a tireless worker who dominated the Big Ten in 2010, would make for a nice long-term alternative at the position. Too promising a prospect to pass on at 27th overall, Kerrigan had an incredible senior campaign and led the nation with 26 tackles for a loss. He had a solid Senior Bowl week — he beat top tackle Nate Solder on a number of occasions — and solidified his status as a first-round pick."
We might see Kerrigan go higher on, especially after his pro day, when coaches get to talk to him and see what a bright young kid this is. But if he is there, this should be the Falcons pick.
For more draft information, check out our NFL Draft Hub.
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