The Atlanta Falcons suffered through a horrific start to the 2019 NFL season. While they can’t forget the start of the season, they did end the year on a positive note. Matt Ryan and company were able to win four straight games to finish the year and ended it with a 7-9 record, which was good enough for second in the NFC South behind the New Orleans Saints.
Looking ahead at the upcoming offseason, the Falcons know that they must add talent to their roster. Dan Quinn is back for at least one more season and Atlanta will be expecting a playoff berth and perhaps more.
Atlanta knows that they need more young talent as well. The 2020 NFL Draft is stacked with talent and the Falcons are set to pick No. 16 overall in the first round. It is a chance to add much-needed young talent.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at three potential targets for the Falcons at No. 16 overall.
Kenneth Murray, Linebacker, Oklahoma
One need for the Falcons this offseason is at linebacker and there is a prospect that could make a lot of sense for them. Kenneth Murray is a prospect out of Oklahoma that would help bolster the middle of the defense. He is a sure tackler and a capable playmaker as well.
Murray brings with him the ability to play inside linebacker, but he also has the skill-set to play outside if needed. Atlanta has needs inside and outside and could plug him in to help fill either void.
Javon Kinlaw, Defensive Line, South Carolina
Atlanta will also need to beef up their defensive line this offseason. Javon Kinlaw may not be available at No. 16, but there is a chance that he could drop to the Falcons. If that happens, the franchise cannot afford to let him get past them.
Kinlaw is a massive presence at 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds. He is exactly what the interior of the Falcons’ defense has needed over the past couple of seasons. Atlanta would be very lucky if they are able to snag Kinlaw in the first round.
A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Finally, the Falcons have to find more pass rushing this offseason and there is a prospect who could very well give them an elite talent in that area. Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa is a top-notch pass rusher and is projected to be available in the middle of the first round. Atlanta would love to have a talent like him on the edge.
During the 2019 season with the Hawkeyes, Epenesa racked up 49 total tackles to go along with 11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and three defended passes. He has elite speed off the edge and excellent size at 6-foot-6 and 280 pounds. Epenesa would give the Falcons exactly what they need in the first round.