Around the League  

 

Projected 2014 starters: Atlanta Falcons

Around The League predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class. Click here for the complete series breakdown.


Atlanta Falcons Projected 2014 Starters
Offense
Defense
QB
DE
RB
DT
WR1
DT
WR2
DE
WR3
LB
TE
LB
LT
CB1
LG
CB2
C
CB3
RG
SS
RT
FS


» General manager Thomas Dimitroff used this offseason to grow bigger and meaner along both lines. It starts on offense, where first-round draft pick Jake Matthews will immediately displace Lamar Holmes at right tackle and might ultimately wind up beating out Sam Baker at the bookend slot. The son of Hall of Fame guard Bruce Matthews finally gives Atlanta a plug-and-play tackle who brings pro-ready traits after blocking for Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M.

» The signing of free-agent guard Jon Asamoah adds a strong pass-protector with a nasty attitude, while the disappointing Peter Konz will fill in on the inside as needed.

» Coach Mike Smith told reporters this week that Tony Gonzalez's move -- or "F" -- tight end position is no longer part of an offense that will use Levine Toilolo as a more traditional blocking tight end. Look for Dirk Koetter's attack to lean on three-wideout sets, which means we'll see plenty of last year's breakout producer, Harry Douglas, alongside Roddy White and a healthy Julio Jones.

» Steven Jackson remains the starter, but we expect rookie back Devonta Freeman to see increased snaps as the season creeps along. NFL Media's Mike Mayock called the former FSU runner an "incredibly physical" specimen; his one-cut ability and soft hands will earn him touches in a rotation with Jacquizz Rodgers.

» The Falcons are primed to shift between three- and four-man fronts on defense, with free-agent addition Paul Soliai set to play the nose in both alignments. He immediately improves Atlanta's run defense, while the newly added Tyson Jackson and rookie Ra'Shede Hageman bring depth at end.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" plays the post-draft version of the game "What's More Likely" and breaks down all the latest news.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15