As the Atlanta Falcons approach the 2021 NFL season, here are five moves needed to be made to improve when the new year begins.
For a third straight year in 2020, the Atlanta Falcons ended the season with more disappointment than hope following yet another below-.500 showing while failing to reach the playoffs once again.
From a winless 0-5 record to begin the regular season, to firing both its general manager and head coach early on in the year, Atlanta ended up taking another step back last season while failing to reach the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
The Falcons did have somewhat of a bright spot during the middle portion of the year, including winning four of six games following that winless start through five weeks, but they ended up rounding out the year with a rough record of 4-12 overall.
With that record, Atlanta finished fourth in the NFC South standings behind the New Orleans Saints (12-4), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) and Carolina Panthers (5-11) ahead of it in the division. The Falcons also managed to finish with records of 2-6 both at home and on the road during the 2020 campaign.
At the end of the season, although there was a large amount of disappointment surrounding what took place in the year that was, there is some excitement among the organization now with the offseason underway and the focus shifting to 2021.
Early on in the offseason, Atlanta began the process of trying to start fresh when it went out and hired a new head coach to take the sidelines with the hire of former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, later announcing the addition of former New Orleans Saints front office man Terry Fontenot as the organization’s new general manager.
That new regime will have its work cut out for it leading up to the start of the 2021 season, with a tough salary cap situation and really no clear vision for the team moving forward. As that focus on the new year and future begins, here are five moves that need to be made this offseason in order to start the rebuilding process and improve this year and beyond.
5. Continue to build through the draft
One thing is becoming clearer and clearer as the Falcons continue to struggle and fail to finish above the .500 mark and that is that it might be time to clean house and go through a full rebuild sooner rather than later.
With Atlanta having some serious questions to answer on the team and throughout the depth chart going into the 2021 season, it might be best for everyone involved to try and get as many assets for the future as possible.
If that were to happen, one thing the team could do to try and improve this offseason and in future offseasons is to continue to build through the draft and bring in cheaper contracts while developing players into the future.
Last season, the Falcons did have a decent showing in the 2020 NFL Draft and that will have to continue in 2021 with Atlanta having some high picks, most notably the No. 4 overall selection in the opening round.
Overall, the Falcons currently have a total of 10 picks in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft unless they make additional moves before the draft commences. Those selections include one pick in each the first round and second round, followed by one selection in each of the third and fourth rounds, two in the fifth round, three in the sixth round and one in the seventh round.
Although every draft is important, the one this offseason will be of high importance for Atlanta to continue to build through the draft.