The Atlanta Falcons have the fourth pick in the NFL draft and edge rusher is, again, a major area of need. However with no players like Nick Bosa or Chase Young at the top of the draft, maybe the best option for the Falcons would be to trade back. Jon Chuckery tells us why he thinks Azeez Ojulari could be the target for the Falcons.
Without a doubt, rushing the passer has been a major flaw in Atlanta for the better part of a decade. That is a terrible thing for a team that wants to win football games, especially in this pass-happy modern era. Look no further than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were able to ride their pass-rush to a Super Bowl over that electric Kansas City offense.
Jon Chuckery speculated, "How can we get to 40 sacks? If you get me to 40 sacks in the NFL that should make you a playoff team," and he was pretty accurate in that assessment. Eight of the 13 teams that had 40-plus sacks were in the playoffs last season and only one of the bottom 13 pass-rushing defenses made it. It's simple, if you want to win games, you have to sack the opposing quarterback.
So how can the Falcons improve this precarious area of need? Well with so little cap space to make a move in NFL free agency, the draft has to be the way. And if that's the direction, who better than the best pass-rusher in this year's draft, Azeez Ojulari?
The Peach Bowl MVP for the Georgia Bulldogs finished 2020's shortened season with 5.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, and as a semi-finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award. He could be the perfect fit in Atlanta. Ojulari is a hybrid-styled edge guy that has a chance to make an immediate impact in the fluid defense that Dean Pees loves.
On top of all of this, the Falcons could pick up some serious draft capital from a team that may be a little more desperate to select a quarterback or one of the flashy receivers. Todd McShay has Ojulari projected to go in the early 20s. A trade that far would likely bring Atlanta a major haul of picks in addition to their potential edge rusher of the future.