Atlanta Falcons Free Agency: Top Five Pass Rushers Left on the Market

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIMarch 15, 2012

Atlanta Falcons Free Agency: Top Five Pass Rushers Left on the Market

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    Atlanta has a huge need for a new pass rusher at right end with John Abraham exploring his options on the market. Top prize Mario Williams signed with Buffalo today, opening up the market for teams to pursue other options.

    The pass rush is the most important part of the defense with the increased prominence of the passing game in the NFL recently. Atlanta had an average pass rush in 2011, but could really explode with the new scheme and Coach Nolan in 2012.

    Let's take a look at the best options for a pass rushing defensive end left on the market. We'll also take a look at why they would and should consider Atlanta.

Kendall Langford

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    Langford is an excellent pass rusher on the inside of the formation at tackle and on the outside of the formation at end. In Miami, he was only used in base formations, and while he did not register a sack, he had two QB hits and 25 QB pressures.

    Langford would come to Atlanta to re-unite with coach Mike Nolan and would be a good fit in the base package at defensive end as a tackle in the sub packages. Langford averages 10.3 pass rush snaps per pressure and is exceptional in getting off the line.

Raheem Brock

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    Brock is similar to Kendall Langford in that he is a good fit as a DE on rush downs and DT on passing downs. He averaged a pressure for every 10.1 snaps and is one of the better all around defensive ends on the market with his ability against the run as well as the pass.

    He would come into Atlanta to play a unique role. He could fill in as a Justin Tuck type fit for the Falcons and bring a veteran who has won a playoff game to Atlanta.

Andre Carter

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    Andre Carter was a formidable all around defensive end in his return to the 4-3 with New England in 2011. He averaged 1 pressure per 8.7 snaps and was excellent against the run with 34 stops. He would play the starting right end role and could fit as the Falcons' true RE.

    Carter would come to Atlanta as a starter and a veteran leader. He did suffer a bad quadriceps injury in 2011 and would need a true professional rehabilitation program to get back into playing shape.

Mark Anderson

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    Mark Anderson is one of the best pass rushers in the league and was used perfectly last year by Bill Bellichick. As a 10 sack guy, Anderson could come in and help the Falcons pass rush instantly. He averaged 7.2 snaps per pressure, and wasn't a complete slouch in the run game as he racked up 26 stops in only 206 run snaps played.

    Anderson would come to Atlanta as it's a great fit scheme wise for him with Nolan coming in and adding in 3-4 principles to the 4-3 Atlanta runs. He could come in and start right away at the right end spot.

John Abraham

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    John Abraham is still unsigned. And he was one of the best pass rusher in all of the NFL last season. He averaged 6.7 snaps per pressure and was excellent against the run with 29 stops in only 241 run snaps played.

    Abraham would come back to stay close to his family that lives in both South Carolina and the Atlanta area. He would also come back to finish his career where he wanted to start it.


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