This year, their secondary will miss hybrid defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who played 1,053 snaps on defense in 2017, and cornerback Tramon Williams, who had a bounce-back season.
Budda Baker, a second-year player who played just 48.4 percent of defensive snaps last year, will likely be on the field for every snap that he’s healthy for. At cornerback, Williams’ replacement is still a question mark.
There wasn’t much the Falcons could have done, considering the fact that they were pressed up against the cap before free agency began and were drafting late in the first round. It’s likely that neither will be as effective as Poe.
With that being said, the offensive line is not fortified. With left guard Arie Kouandjio already out for the season, the situation has only gotten worse this offseason.
At center, the likely starter is Chase Roullier, a sophomore sixth-round pick from Wyoming who played 45.2 percent of the snaps last season. Shawn Lauvao, whom Kouandjio replaced because of an injury in 2017, will be the team’s starting left guard with Kouandjio out of the picture.
It’s hard to make the case that Roullier and Lauvao are average players. Lining them up next to each other, with virtually no depth but tackle Ty Nsekhe behind them could be what holds the team back in 2018.
Snap counts and statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference. Contract information courtesy of Spotrac.
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