Just one hour after NFL‘s free agency period officially began, the Atlanta Falcons swooped in and snagged some huge additions to solidify both the offensive and defensive lines for the 2014 regular season: G Jon Asamoah, DE Tyson Jackson, and DT Paul Soliai.
Since the start of the offseason, the biggest concern for the Atlanta Falcons was how they were going to improve at the line of scrimmage. Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff expressed his satisfaction after the latest additions to the Falcons’ roster.
Luckily, both Jackson and Asamoah come from a Kansas City Chiefs roster that ranked in the top-10 in terms of scoring defense and run offense. In 2013, Jackson was part of a defense that was ranked fifth in the NFL in scoring defense, in which he contributed four sacks. Current defensive ends Kroy Biermann and Osi Umenyiora can now breathe a sigh of relief as their workload will be much more manageable.
And since the Falcons were also able to lock up DT JonathanBabineaux for another three years, this defensive line is looking dangerous for 2014.
Last season, the Falcons ranked 32nd in the running category, only averaging a disheartening 77.9 yards per game. But this year, things could look up with Asamoah on the line. At 305 pounds, Asamoah will without a doubt provide some much-needed lanes for running backs Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith, and will hopefully help provide some protection for quarterback Matt Ryan as well.
As for Soliai, more good news is that he already shares common ties with Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, as he played under his wing for two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, and was part of a defense that was ranked in the top-three in terms of stopping the run. At 345 pounds, Soliai will help the Falcons’ defense bully the lines to get some penetration against the run for sure.
In the event the Falcons decide to sign a decent RT in free agency, this new-look 3-4 defense could soon welcome another weapon to its arsenal of pass rushers in the NFL Draft, either LB Khalil Mack or LB Anthony Barr. But then again, OT Greg Robinson would still be a solid first-round pick for the Falcons as well.