Atlanta Falcons Post-Draft Needs: Shopping for WR/LB Talent

Micky WoosleyContributor IMay 1, 2009

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 16:  Fullback Peyton Hillis #22 of the Denver Broncos drives into Curtis Lofton #50 and Keith Brooking #56 of the Atlanta Falcons during the game at the Georgia Dome on November 16, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

After a strong draft, it looks like the Atlanta Falcons don't have a lot of holes left to fill, but they are still thin at linebacker and are looking for additional help at receiver.

The Falcons didn't address the linebacker position until the sixth round of the draft, when they selected Spencer Adkins. He'll add depth to the position and be a special teams contributor.

The Falcons did add free agent linebacker Edmond Miles this week. Miles played for Miami last year, and most of his production was on special teams; he led the Dolphins with 16 special teams tackles.

The Falcons 'backer starters will probably be Lofton, Peterson, and whoever wins the other spot between Stephen Nicholas and Coy Wire. That would leave only one experienced backup who has seen any significant playing time (Wire or Nicholas).

The other LBs on the roster include Tony Gilbert (in his fifth year, he's played mostly special teams), Robert James (in his second, but was out all last season with a concussion), Chris Brock (an undrafted rookie from Missouri), and Derek Nicholson (an undrafted rookie from Florida State). 

Look for the Falcons to continue their search for a veteran to bolster the linebacking corps. The Steelers are trying to trade Larry Foote, but if they can't, they'll soon release him. Don't know if the Falcons will be interested or not, but I'm sure Foote won't be the only veteran LB to hit the market this offseason.

Also of concern, but not nearly as severe, is wide receiver.

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Free agent Drew Bennett worked out for the team this week. I'm not sure if he will be signed or not, but he did have some productive seasons with the Titans.

The Falcons recently signed veteran RB Verron Haynes, who was with the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. Looks like the team is adding depth to several positions and trying to upgrade an already talented and productive special teams unit.

Look for the Falcons to continue to scan the waiver wire for talent, especially at linebacker.    

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