Plugging the holes: NFC South
All four division squads need defensive help
How this works: Back on Feb. 19, Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders penned this piece on pre-draft needs for NFC South squads. With the draft done -- check Mel Kiper Jr.'s grades here and Todd McShay's grades here -- FBO revisits the NFC South.
Atlanta Falcons: Defensive end
Heading into the draft, we wrote that defensive end was the Falcons' biggest need -- and then the Falcons ignored the position completely in the draft.
Defensive end John Abraham, the Falcons' premier pass-rusher, had only 5.5 sacks last year. As a team, the Falcons were 26th in the NFL with 5.6 percent adjusted sack rate. ASR measures sacks and intentional groundings per pass player, adjusting for situation and opponent.
After the pay wall: more on the Falcons, and looks at the Panthers, the champs and the Bucs. The essential question here is, "Can anyone knock off the Saints?" and if you read carefully, you'll see that the answer is definitely a "yes." You need to be an Insider for that, though.
Post-Draft NFL Coverage