2015 Depth Charts: Atlanta Falcons

| 2 years ago

2015 Depth Charts: Atlanta Falcons



•  Steven Jackson might be on the downside of his career, but he’s still a serviceable running back in the league. He’s not going to wow anyone, but there are plenty of teams around the league who wouldn’t mind having him on there roster.

•  Jake Matthews was a rookie last season, so there is still plenty of time for him to improve, and tackles do sometimes take their time to get used to the NFL. He was poor in 2014 though, and the Falcons will want to see a big improvement in his second year.

•  Paul Worrilow fits more as a two down linebacker, with his work in coverage not good enough for a full time role.

•  Desmond Trufant had another impressive year, but he falls slightly short of the Elite at cornerback. Another strong season, especially if he can improve again, would make it tough to keep him out of that bracket next year though.

Team Needs

Tight End: Losing Tony Gonzalez was always going to hurt Atlanta, but his replacement Levine Toilolo really struggled as a full time starter, finishing the year with just 238 receiving yards. Drops were a problem for him too, with his Drop Rate of 16.22 the third worst amongst the 39 tight ends with enough targets to qualify. Finding a replacement who could be more of a threat, particularly in the red zone, would be big for the Falcons offense.

Cornerback: On one hand the Falcons appear set at one cornerback spot, with Desmond Trufant having an impressive first two seasons in the league. Outside of him though, there are plenty of questions. Robert Alford has shown flashes in his first two years, but hasn’t been consistent enough that you can put your faith in him as a starter, while anyone else who saw time at the position in 2014 is a free agent. In the very least a third corner is needed, but probably someone to push Alford too.

Linebacker: An undrafted free agent in 2013, Paul Worrilow has flashed potential at points, but doesn’t look like a three down linebacker at this point in his career. Our third lowest graded linebacker in coverage last season, the Falcons could find an upgrade in free agency without spending too much, with several solid linebackers likely to be available this spring.


Click here to see the rest of the charts.


| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • Guest

    I fear that a lot of people will be citing Worrilows high tackle count as a measurement of good play.

    • Jaguars28

      Jags fans do that with Poz. Good run defender, terrible in coverage.

      • Tyler Ferree

        David Harris also, the fact that he hasn’t has a pick in 49 months says it all (well except the 1 in Green Bay in September that was annulled by a 12 men on defense).

        • ChiTownPete

          Still baffles me that ARod is still able to catch defenses with those 12 men on the field/off-sides free play stuff.

          Coordinators should know better by now.

    • AJ

      I agree. Personally, I feel that tackle counts should just be eliminated because they tell you absolutely nothing about quality of play.

      • Jaguars28

        That’s not totally true. JJ Watt has an insane amount of tackles for his position, and we all know how good he is.

        • Chris

          That’s proving his point. Tackles don’t tell you anything. You can lead your team in tackles and be one of the worst in the league at your position (Worrilow) or you can lead your team in tackles and be one of the best defenders ever (Watt).

          Those tackle numbers are hypothetical, but the point remains. Tackles tell you who got to the ball last. Usually a handful of other guys have done things right and the guy who makes the tackle just gets the cleanup. It’s not as common to see a guy win a 1-on-1 and then make the tackle, which is something Watt does all the time.

  • Bryan

    I think you have Jerome Felton mixed up with Jerome Smith

    • Gordon McGuinness

      You are correct, I’ll get that fixed in the next hour or so. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Jaguars28

    I think Julio Jones and Matt Ryan are elite, looks good otherwise

    • Riffle,Rod&Fly

      I agree with you on Julio Jones but definitely not Ryan.

      • Jaguars28

        You have to take into account his bad defense, mediocre running game, and the worst blindside protector this past year. The fact that he can produce at a high level with all this is incredible.

        • Riffle,Rod&Fly

          I don’t believe the Colts were much better off in those phases but Luck produced and got the job done. Jones is also a YAC monster. Without seeing the sig-stats on them, winning is basically why I’d have Luck in that elite grouping and not Ryan. From what I did see on the field, Ryan showed weaknesses. Maybe I’m wrong but he looked bad under pressure. I’ll suspend any further judgement until we see some of the more in depth passer grades from this year.

          • Jaguars28

            Fair enough

          • bobrulz

            Luck still has a lot of flaws. He still has random games where he just can’t seem to get anything done and struggles with accuracy.

            Matt Ryan probably isn’t “elite” but he’s just barely under. He can’t always drive the ball down the field consistently and makes poor decisions from time to time, but he is smart and efficient.

  • Riffle,Rod&Fly

    There is a lot of red in that first column.

  • Tim Edell

    Love this … I would disagree that DE is a much bigger need for them then CB…as good as Trufant has played imagine how much better he would be with a pass rush

  • asdf

    There are bodies on that DL. Especially inside. Get them cleaned up and polished with DL centric coach like Quinn and no one will run on them. Also draft an edge rushher. Fat babs is still a good pass rusher. He can free up say Beasley or Ray on the reg

  • Pat Crew

    Their is an error in the blurb about Steven Jackson, isn’t they’re?

    • Pats76

      Yep, their is.