Atlanta Falcons: Top 5 Needs in 2013 NFL Draft

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Top 5 Draft Needs for Atlanta Falcons

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Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

When you think about the type of season that the Atlanta Falcons had in 2012, you would think they should have surely made an appearance in the Super Bowl.

Matt Ryan had a career year while Julio Jones and Roddy White both had great seasons of their own. Not to mention, the ageless wonder, Tony Gonzalez, had one of his best seasons as well. However, Gonzalez was sure to retire at season's end, forcing the Falcons to look for a tight end in the offseason. That ended up not being the case as Gonzalez shocked everyone by announcing he would be back for one more year.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what a team that finished the 2012 season 13-3 actually needs come draft time, but this team is as close to being set as any in the league.

By adding veteran running back Steven Jackson to their offensive arsenal, they will look to improve on one of the league's worst rushing attacks from last season. Michael Turner isn't coming back, but with Jackson as the starter, Jacquizz Rodgers will have plenty of time to learn from one of the game's best rushers.

The defense has a few question marks, especially being ranked in the 20-range in both passing and rushing defense last season. They will need to improve mightily if they want to even have a chance of finally making a run at the coveted Super Bowl.

Here's a look at the top five needs for the Atlanta Falcons in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Connor Muldowney is a College Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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Cornerback

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Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons' secondary is in pretty good shape, but the depth at the cornerback position could use some help. Asante Samuel and Robert McClain are the team's starting corners and they are both solid, but some extra depth would be beneficial. They could draft a corner in the middle rounds that would work without wasting a pick.

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Defensive End

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The defensive end position isn't as heavily needed as other positions since the Falcons added Osi Umenyiora in free agency. The veteran end is getting closer the the age of retirement and his production is not the same as it used to be. They could look to add a young end that could transition into his replacement someday.

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Defensive Tackle

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Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

Although the defensive tackles are pretty much set for the 2013 season, the line as a whole could use some help. While they are solid at the tackle and end positions, some depth may be needed as the Falcons don't return any players that recorded more than four sacks.

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Linebacker

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons have two solid starting linebackers in Sean Weatherspoon and Stephen Nicholas, but the third linebacker position has yet to be filled. This could be a top priority in the upcoming draft to find a linebacker of the future.

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Offensive Line

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Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The offensive line is always a priority for any team trying to protect a franchise quarterback. In order to protect Matt Ryan, they will need to add some reliability on the line and make sure the sack numbers decrease in 2013.


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