The Atlanta Falcons have already had a pretty good start to their offseason beginning in free agency. The team has added a couple of key playmakers to their offense in wide receiver Mohammad Sanu and center Alex Mack, and they are looking much better on offense. However, the team needs to continue to add help and they should look to target Ohio State’s Taylor Decker after his performance at the NFL Combine.
Decker was impressive at the Combine. He may not have shined as much as Jack Conklin and Jason Spriggs, but he quietly performed very well. Decker measured in with prototypical tackle size at 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds, but he still moved around well despite his size. Decker looks like he will have the ability to be a strong right tackle and the next level, and that could be a position that the Falcons have a major need at.
Last season, the Falcons had Ryan Schraeder at the tackle position, and he graded out as one of the top right tackles in the league. However, the team put a tender on Schraeder, and it remains to be seen if he will stay with the team beyond this season. If he does agree to the tender, he will get paid over $2 million for the season but he will be an unrestricted free agent next year. It is unlikely that the team would be able to pay him enough to stay around.
That is where Decker would come in. Decker could spend his first NFL season as either a backup for the Falcons or as a guard if the team needs to use him there. He would get some much needed experience and be ready to take over at right tackle if Schraeder does indeed leave in 2016. Decker would likely be available with the team’s first round pick in the draft, and he may end up being the best player on the board.
When it is all said and done, the Falcons will likely pick an offensive lineman at some point in the draft. Given their draft position, it would not be a surprise if Decker is one of the best players available. He would be an upgrade for Matt Ryan’s protection and it would be a good investment for the team.