Originally posted on DraftAce  |  Last updated 4/10/12

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Atlanta Falcons [full archive here].

Season Recap: The Atlanta Falcons approached last offseason with the anticipation of making a serious run at the Super Bowl. They traded up to the number six overall pick to acquire another weapon for Matt Ryan in Julio Jones. Jones showed he was worthy of the selection, but nothing else seemed to pan out for the Falcons. Without many high draft picks, Atlanta needs their returning players to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 season.

Team Needs:
1. Defensive End: The most important position in football is the Quarterback. In today’s league, teams have to have excellent pass rushers in order to disrupt opposing team’s QB. The Falcons need to find a pass rusher that an offense fears. John Abraham used to be that player, but is on the downside of his career. Ray Edwards was signed last offseason, but only posted 3.5 sacks in 16 starts. A player like Vinny Curry in the second round would be a good addition.

2. Left Tackle: Former first round pick, Sam Baker was benched during the season after poor play. If Baker can come back strong, then this is not a need for Atlanta, but the Falcons can’t take a risk at not giving Matt Ryan the best protection possible. With no first round pick, Atlanta better hope Baker can handle the job, because it will be hard to find a capable starter in the second or third round

3. Tight End: Tony Gonzalez had another solid season, but at 36 it is time to begin looking for his replacement. If a player like Dwayne Allen or Coby Fleener slips in the second round, Atlanta may be smart enough to grab one of them.

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