Plugging the Holes: NFC South
Identifying biggest post-draft needs for Falcons, Panthers, Saints and Bucs
In this post-draft edition of Plugging the Holes, Football Outsiders will look at the biggest remaining personnel need of every team, going division by division.
Thursday's edition examines the NFC South.
Atlanta Falcons: Pass-rusher
The Falcons' defense finished 29th in Football Outsiders' DVOA rankings, 26th against the run and dead last against the pass. So general manager Thomas Dimitroff went to work in free agency, adding starters up front (former Kansas City defensive end Tyson Jackson and former Miami defensive tackle Paul Soliai) and depth in the secondary (cornerbacks Javier Arenas from Arizona and Josh Wilson from Washington). Dimitroff failed to add a pass-rusher, though, and that's a problem. By FO's adjusted sack rate metric, the Falcons had the league's worst pass rush last season.
Osi Umenyiora led the team last season with 7.5 sacks, but he'll be 33 in November, and he hasn't cracked double-digit sacks since 2010.