The Falcons have talent up and down the roster, so why was 2018 a lost season? Injuries struck heavy and hard on the defensive side early in the year, and it would have taken another historically great season from the offense to make up for it. With better health and a few key additions in the offseason, the Falcons could be right back in the playoff mix in 2019.
Here's what you need to know about the Atlanta Falcons and the 2019 NFL Draft.
2019 draft picks
- Round 1: Atlanta
- Round 2: Atlanta
- Round 3: Atlanta
- Round 4: Atlanta
- Round 5: Atlanta
- Round 6: Atlanta
- Round 7: Atlanta
The Falcons have their full complement of picks for the 2019 draft.
Biggest offseason needs
- Defensive tackle
- Defensive end
- Running back
Grady Jarrett is heading into free agency, and that would be a big loss if the team can't bring him back. Even if they do, another defensive tackle is needed next to him. Vic Beasley has had one amazing season surrounded by a lot of forgettable performances, and it's possible the team finds a trade offer they like and moves on in the offseason. Bruce Irvin could also be brought back after he gave the pass rush a boost late in the season. At corner, Robert Alford's release would free up $7.9 million, and even if Isaiah Oliver is ready to step up the team will need to improve depth at the position as well as at linebacker.
The Falcons are pretty set on offense, the one exception is at guard, where Andy Levitre is a free agent and an upgrade should be targeted on the right side. Tevin Coleman is moving on at running back, and if the team doesn't want to rely on Ito Smith, another option will need to be found to pair with Devonta Freeman.
Prospects to watch
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Size concerns could be enough to push Oliver, an immensely talented defensive tackle, down to the middle of Round 1. That would be great news for the Falcons, who could lose Grady Jarrett in free agency and need to add some talent to the defensive line even if he does return.
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Falcons' secondary proved highly beatable in 2018, and bringing in an impact starter at the position would be a massive boost to their outlook for 2019. Luckily for the team, there's an excellent corner playing right in their backyard in Baker, who sticks to receivers like glue.
Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech
There were reports at the trade deadline that Atlanta fielded offers on Vic Beasley, and after a down 2018 it's possible they decide to move on in the offseason. If that happens, they should be looking for edge talent on Day 2, and they could find a good one in Ferguson, who's coming off a monster season.
Michael Dieter, G, Wisconsin
The Falcons would be well-served to find some guard help on Day 2 with Levitre a free agent and an upgrade needed at right guard too. Dieter is one of several solid prospects at the position who should go by the end of Round 3, someone who isn't an elite talent like a Zack Martin but should be capable of being a solid starter for a long time.