You be the GM: What position should the Falcons target?

Should the Falcons shake hands with UGA's Justin Houston? (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Should the Falcons shake hands with UGA's Justin Houston? (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

You might think you’re smarter than Thomas Dimitroff, but you’re probably wrong. TD the GM is so sharp his name ought to be … well, Darren Sharper. But enough football wordplay.

The Falcons — and 31 other teams — have free agency and a draft upcoming. (They might also have a lockout, but that’s another story for another day. And I continue to believe any lockout won’t amount to much.) The misdoings of Saturday night indicate the Falcons have deeper needs than you’d figure a 13-3 team would. So: Here’s your chance to be Dimitty for a day.

Tell the world what position most needs punching up posthaste. You can attach names to this if you want – yesterday I  mentioned Justin Houston, the Georgia pass rusher, and Malcom Floyd, the San Diego receiver – as possible targets for the draft and free agency, respectively, but that’s just me. And I’m not nearly as smart as Dimitroff. (Or anybody in the whole wide world, for that matter.)

I’m thinking the Falcons’ greatest areas of concern are, in descending order: A better pass rush; a fast receiver; a change-of-pace back — this assumes Jerious Norwood will never contribute — and then everything else. You might well see it differently. You might well be correct. And here’s your chance. Have at it.

By Mark Bradley

454 comments Add your comment

Steve

January 18th, 2011
11:39 am

DB — preferably CB

Close second: Defensive Coordinator

GOCOCKS

January 18th, 2011
11:41 am

My first first?

GOCOCKS

January 18th, 2011
11:42 am

Personally I think we should trade the pick for another second rounder…

Matt

January 18th, 2011
11:42 am

D-Line, we need to get someone who can pressure the QB. Rodgers had all day to throw and those times he did not, he escaped the rush. Pressure and tackling need to be upgraded. Look how hard and fast the other Defenses of the Bears, Jets and Steelers play. We need that.

Poppa Falcon

January 18th, 2011
11:46 am

Defensive END is a MUST!!! Between Flacco, Freeman, Brees, & Rodgers at the Dome, the DE’s left about 18-20 sacks ON THE FIELD. Qb’s were able to sidestep & hit rcvrs for big gains. Gotta get a DE with a CHIP on his shoulder.

Glen W

January 18th, 2011
11:52 am

1st round: DE, 2nd Round: DT, 3rd Round: CB.

Get a WR through free agency.

Herschel Talker

January 18th, 2011
11:52 am

MB:

We need a better secondary, but the truth is that our secondary can’t get better unless we get a better pass rush, so we need to target DL first. Jamaal Anderson stinks. Peria Jerry looks like he may stink. John Abraham ain’t getting younger. We need an intimidating pass rusher or else we will be singing the same tune next year at this time.

HT

UGAFan

January 18th, 2011
11:52 am

Steve, great pass rushers make average DBs look great.

Herschel Talker

January 18th, 2011
11:53 am

FIRE MARK RICHT

hmmmm

January 18th, 2011
11:53 am

I agree. I think an Oline as well. Not because they are playing poorly, but because a couple of them are getting older. Might be time to start looking for replacements. This goes for Abraham as well. I love the WR pick though. Jenkins and Douglas do not take enough focus off Roddy. Look at the successful teams. Many of them have two #1 receivers. We just have Roddy.

Andrew

January 18th, 2011
11:53 am

The pieces on offense are there, Douglas is a viable deep ball threat. The playbook just needs to be opened up more, Mularkey calls the plays as if Matt Ryan is playing his first ever NFL game. There needs to be upgrades on defense, Weatherspoon and Jerry are two guys that need to develop and fulfill their potential, both were first-round selections. We also need a DE and a corner in the draft to help solidify the defense, hopefully Dimitroff can draft a corner like Tramon Williams who is a up-and-coming pro-bowl caliber corner. And if you don’t know Tramon Williams he’s the guy who single-handled beat the Falcons.

gadawgs

January 18th, 2011
11:54 am

Nasty D end first and foremost and then a true #2 WR.

matt r

January 18th, 2011
11:55 am

To make this 4-3 work we need one stud DT. We might have one or two emerging studs, but we need at least one current stud.

Bob Lee threw passes here

January 18th, 2011
11:55 am

Gotta agree with you on your assesments MB……I do believe that we need a speedy receiver. I believe that Norwood is damaged goods. I really thought he was going to be that change of pace back to compliment Turner. I am not sure that Houston fits into our scheme of things. He is a bit on the light side. Now here’s a question I have for you. Is it time for us to address the TE position? I cannot see TG sticking around too much longer. His body has withstood a pretty good pounding during all of these years.

Mark (a different one)

January 18th, 2011
11:55 am

I thought Huston was a good pick. Is the Bowers kid at Clemson a senior? The kid from Kentucky (a tackle) was also pretty good. The tackles need to be able to engage the three middle linemen and get a push. Maybe the SC kid Ingram?

As for a stretch the field receiver, isn’t the kid from Arkansas a senior? They did a lot of that this season, and it wasn’t all short passes with lots of YAC. It was getting open down the field.

cyberdawg

January 18th, 2011
11:56 am

The most obvious would be defensive end and a better backup defensive back. The need for a running back addition to Turner and Snelling is clear also. TD will make the right moves. He’s the expert at this.

BUDAR

January 18th, 2011
11:56 am

Whether it be a OLB or DE, we need someone who is going to get to the quarterback!!! Our DB’s have improved over 2009 and will improve drastically with a pash rush. We also need some young legs at RB, preferably one that can catch out of the backfield.

hmmmm

January 18th, 2011
11:56 am

The great CB from Oakland just became a free agent.

Chuck Sheen

January 18th, 2011
11:57 am

Mark, you’re kidding me, Malcolm Floyd? Really? You’re showing your lack of sports knowledge right now. He’s often injured and didn’t live up to his chance as a no. 1 target this year with possibly THE BEST QB in the NFL throwing him the ball. Being a contract year I’d expect a little more effort and much better numbers. He’s another Mike Jenkins. I’m blown away you mentioned his name. I’m still shaking my head….

P Rose

January 18th, 2011
11:58 am

D-line or D-end. WE NEED A PASS RUSH. PERIOD. Our cornerbacks would be fine if their QB had to hurry his throws. And our offense would be fine if we weren’t playing catch-up.

Doug

January 18th, 2011
11:58 am

I know this has nothing to do with the blog, but why is Justin Houston wearing a No. 42 jersey while also carrying his pads that have a No. 42 jersey on them?

richham

January 18th, 2011
11:58 am

DE and a deep threat WR would be next. Those are two glaring needs. A running back would be #3 for me personally.

Matt

January 18th, 2011
11:58 am

The best D player available with the first and 2nd round picks. Speedy offensive weapon is a must. It would be nice to have a legit RB. Turner couldn’t hold the elite RBs in the NFL’s jock. He’s great as a spell back but he’s no gamechanger.

bigdon

January 18th, 2011
12:00 pm

Enter your comments here

TwelfthMan

January 18th, 2011
12:00 pm

Defense, whatever position, has to be the main priority. The Falcons top brass since day one have had the goal to build a strong defense to go along with a run the ball first offense. As good as Matt Ryan is or may be he will never be the type of QB that Brady, Manning or Rodgers will be because one I don’t think he is as strong of a passer as the 3 listed above and the Falcons, as currently structured, want to be a run first offense. With this in mind you have to go defense and the most glaring need is a pass rusher. John Abraham will be 33 next year and not only does he need somebody else to help him but he also will sooner than later need somebody to replace him. I’m a Georgia fan and I know there are a lot of Georgia/Falcons fans but we do not need Justin Houston. He will be better suited in a 3-4 defense, not the 4-3 defense we run. I think Cameron Heyward has a great motor but I think he is better suited in a 3-4 defense also. Most of his impact plays, especially in the Sugar Bowl came from one of the DT spots, not the end. Hopefully TD and Coach Smitty know what to do from here.

Joe Tess Fish House

January 18th, 2011
12:01 pm

Find sum one 2 repalce Perrier Jerry, Sean Witherspoon, Donto Robinson and Michale Jenkins. All those player were drafted in the fist round and ALL are busts. Were payin 2 much money 4 these guys and they R not worth a dang. Next would be getting rid of Matty Rayn and tryin 2 get Vick back here.

Saints can suck ...

January 18th, 2011
12:02 pm

NEw Defensive Coordinator: Start playing Man Coverage instead of this zone crap. Do the Falcons CBs really need to give the WR: 6-8 yard cushion + the backing up to make it a 10-12 yard cushion? We play D. Robinson millions.

We need a quick RB: that can catch out of the backfield and beat defenders to the Corners (aka Bradshaw type of runner)

We need
1: DE

Ree Roe

January 18th, 2011
12:02 pm

CB (Nnamdi Asougmua)
DE (Richard Seymour)
OL (Free Agency/Draft)
WR/RB (Draft a Percy Harvin type)

We don’t need an overhaul. Just a few tweaks to problems that have always been there

-REEturn of Roe!!!

J-nasty

January 18th, 2011
12:03 pm

1st round= DE/ OLB ( maybe justin houston from uga, he can put his hand in the ground or cover)
2nd round= best WR on the board ( need more speed)
3rd round = runningback ( need a scat back bad, norwood is always too hurt and never a big play threat, maybe jacquiz rodgers from oregon state or noel divine from west virginia)

pick up champ bailey in free agency so he can play his last season at home

DJ Sniper

January 18th, 2011
12:03 pm

Here are my draft thoughts, in no particular order of importance:

Running back: We need a true change of pace RB to compliment Michael Turner. I don’t believe Turner is anywhere near washed up like some people would believe, but we do need a speed guy to really switch things up. Maybe then we will finally incorporate the screen pass into our offensive game plan. I like Jason Snelling, but he doesn’t have that next gear to really break into the open field, and Jerious Norwood is just too injury prone.

Tight End: Tony Gonzalez is not going to play forever, as we all know. We signed Michael Palmer last season and I think he may turn out fine, but we also need another big bodied TE who can stretch the field. I can see us running 2 TE sets similar to how the Patriots did this season. Can you imagine 2 6’6” TE’s creating matchup problems?

Offensive Line: This is moreso for depth than anything else. Right now, we don’t really know which linemen will still be here next season, so we need to make sure we aren’t thin at that position.

Defensive End: John Abraham had a great season, but we really need someone on the other side to create havoc as well. We know that Jamaal Anderson can’t cut it, and Kroy Biermann didn’t really do a whole lot this season. The only drawback is that it usually takes a while for DE’s to really develop. It’s rare you get a rookie DE that can come in and make an impact. Guys like Jevon Kearse and Dwight Freeney don’t come along all that often.

bigdon

January 18th, 2011
12:04 pm

What happened to L Sid? He looked good a couple of years ago, but disappeared. Justin Houston
I’m not titally sold on because of his size issues, but if he’s there at 26 or 27, go for it. Also that kid
from Auburn that shredded the dogs and SC might look good in a Falx uni.

Tight end, smight end. I think Justin Peels is extreemely serviceable. Remember Dan Reeves’ love of
tight ends and Reggie Kelly? Also Lose Sam Baker. Sorry, Sammy. I say Snelling is the more viable alternative to Turner. Dude is slow and can’t catch. Sure he picks up yardage, but I’d pick up yardage if I got 25 carries a game. Somebody’s going to give Snell a bunch of money because they see what few Falx fans do except me.

Saints can suck ...

January 18th, 2011
12:04 pm

WE blitzed D. Brees 90% of the time when he came to Atlanta. He was frustrated. We play this zone coverage against Rodgers and he tears us a new A: Hole.

Joe Tess Fish House

January 18th, 2011
12:05 pm

Ohyeah get rid of Brain Van Gordon. Get Jessie Tuggle to repalce him.

Walker, Texas Ranger

January 18th, 2011
12:05 pm

Best available DE or CB. Secondly we have got to get a TE, possibly in the first round if a stud is there. Also a backup RB. Maybe a third down back in FA along with a WR. If a good LT is available, we need to address that as well.

Walker, Texas Ranger

January 18th, 2011
12:06 pm

Saints agree, how many plays did we blitz?

Tron5000

January 18th, 2011
12:07 pm

Offensive Coordinator.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 18th, 2011
12:08 pm

Larry

January 18th, 2011
12:10 pm

In order of priority:

1. Courage and Toughness
2. Defensive Coordinator with a lot of #1.
3. Offensive Coordinator with any imagination and ingenuity.
4. Defensive End (Thomas Dimitroff just blew it not pursuing Peppers).
5. Corner back to move Grimes to Nickel.
6. Big, Powerful Defensive Tackle.
7. A wide Receiver with Deep Speed.
8. An all purpose running back with elusiveness.
9. A GM who can draft better talent (other than Ryan, who is considered more than average to good?)
10. An owner who will stop hugging, caressing and kissing the players and stops roaming the sidelines!

Falcons Need

January 18th, 2011
12:10 pm

What about a tight end? I agree the three you listed are more important, but number 4 or 5 would be a tight end. We could prob draft one in the later rounds.

Saints can suck ...

January 18th, 2011
12:10 pm

Against the Packers: we must have blitzed less than 10 times total.

They should have known after the 1st TD that playing that zone crap would not work. Rodgers would just do slants and quick passes all day. The GB Wrs were getting off the line with no problems.

The piss poor playing calling by the DC cost us a chance to make the SB. THe best way to stop quick/fast WRS, is to jam them at the line and disrupt the rythmn of the QB. You cant blame the Falcons CBs.

Saints can suck ...

January 18th, 2011
12:10 pm

Against the Packers: we must have blitzed less than 10 times total.

They should have known after the 1st TD that playing that zone crap would not work. Rodgers would just do slants and quick passes all day. The GB Wrs were getting off the line with no problems.

The piss poor playing calling by the DC cost us a chance to make the SB. THe best way to stop quick/fast WRS, is to jam them at the line and disrupt the rythmn of the QB. You cant blame the Falcons CBs.

P Rose

January 18th, 2011
12:11 pm

Repeat after me: “Who’s that? Who IS that?” It’s not pronounced, “Who dat.” I find it sad that hundreds of thousands of people in one region should have to be afflicted with the same speech impediment.

Saints can suck ...

January 18th, 2011
12:13 pm

and when the zone was working, Rodgers had soo much time to throw the ball that he would wait for plays to develop bc of no pressure,

THe Falcons lost because they did not blitz.

Joe Tess Fish House

January 18th, 2011
12:15 pm

Id make a run at Ochocsinko. I see where the Bengals no longer want him. He could help out the younger receivers heare as well as be the #1 WR.

IceFan

January 18th, 2011
12:17 pm

1. Pay Nnamdi Asomugha whatever he wants for as long as he wants

2. Draft DE 1st round (I think the DT combo of Babs, Peters, Jerry is fine)

3. Draft WR 2nd round

4. Fire Mike Mularkey

5. Hire Josh McDaniels

Joe Tess Fish House

January 18th, 2011
12:19 pm

U R nutz if U thing Perrier Jerry is fiine. He had a total of 1 tackel all season. That would be fine if he were not drafted in the fist round.

Jamaaliver

January 18th, 2011
12:20 pm

1. A speedy backup running back who can catch passes out of the backfield and start being groomed to replace Turner. (Think M Jones-Drew, R Bush)

2. A defensive end to be groomed to replace J Abraham in a couple of seasons.

3.A young, pass catching tight end to replace Tony Gonzales.

I think that as awful as we played Saturday, alot of the defenses failings had to do with the fact that our offense couldn’t really duplicate any of those long-grind it out, time consuming drives we’re accustomed to. Also, if you take away those two terrible interceptions in the first half and replace them with just field goals, the game is a lot tighter in the second half. perhaps allwoing us a different approach offensively and defensively.

I put this loss mostly on the coaching gameplan, not the respective units. We were outmatched in every category against we’d already beaten here in ATL. MCCarthy made necessary adjustments, Mike Smith did not.

THE LAST T H U G OF KRYPTON

January 18th, 2011
12:20 pm

WHAT THE FALCONS NEED TO TARGET IS A NEW OWNER THAT WILL SPEND SOME $$$$$$$$$$$$$ AND SHOW SUPREME PLAYERS LIKE MV7 THE RESPECT THEY DESERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YOU KNOW THAT IS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mountain_jim

January 18th, 2011
12:24 pm

another vote for a new DC. Scheme is worse than talent, and adjustments to GB changes were nil.

After that, DE, more Dbacks (see how Jets stocked up), speedy WR and RB, and kick Mularkey in the hind-quarters to open things up more.

Would have been nice to add Peppers last year.

NATIVEBIRD

January 18th, 2011
12:24 pm

SECONDARY: We need to waive Chris Owens (he is not NFL material), we need to draft a top CB pick, then we need to put Brent Grimes at nickel so he can go and grab interceptions and not be picked on because of his size. We need 2 lockdown corners to be a championship team. Our safeties have played pretty well.

DL: I agree we need a lot more pressure on the QB. We need to draft a DE and a DT and continue to improve our LB core.

WR: Roddy needs a true compliment, I think that we should pick up Plexico Buress. I think that he will be the Mike Vick of WR’s and have a huge impact when he returns to the NFL. He is big at 6′6″ and if Blank can trust him, he gives us another BIG DEEP THREAT which will give us more explosive plays and help the running game.

RB: We need to draft as high as we can, I like Jerious but doubt he will ever be what he was. We need a fast “scat back” to compliment Turner.

COACHES: Van Gorder has not been a great judge of talent and has not been aggressive enough at certain times. Mularkey has been full of “mularkey” most of the season. We need more explosive plays once we fall behind. We had to much talent on the offensive side of the ball to be predictable. Gotta coach these guys up, and he did not do a good job calling plays.

just sayin……..