Falcons need to bolster secondary

Updated: February 27, 2004, 10:52 AM ET
By By Scouts, Inc. | For ESPN Insider

With free agency beginning March 3 and the draft just around the corner, Scouts, Inc., breaks down the biggest offseason needs for the Atlanta Falcons.

Cornerback: Ray Buchanan, who lost his starting job last season, likely will be a salary-cap casualty. His replacement, Juran Bolden, is an unrestricted free agent with little upside. Tod McBride, the other starter, exceeded expectations last year but lacks speed and really struggles to turn and run with vertical receivers. Throw in the fact that Tyrone Williams was in disfavor with the former coaching staff, and you have a unit in disarray. Atlanta, which has no shutdown corner who can lock up an opponent's best receiver man-to-man, desperately needs a quality cover guy. Even if Buchanan stays, he might move to safety in an effort to mask his declining speed and cover skills. In all likelihood, the Falcons will need at least two cornerbacks, and one must be an elite starter.