5 Atlanta Falcons Players Who Must Step Up In 2016

By Brendan Patel

The Atlanta Falcons have talent on both sides of the ball, and were a surprising playoff contender last year. They still must get better on defense, as well as give help to Julio Jones on offense. If several players can step up, then this team could push for a playoff spot once again.

5 Atlanta Falcons Players Who Must Step Up In 2016
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5. Keanu Neal

Keanu Neal Credit: Getty Images
Neal is a first-round draft pick who will be expected to contribute right away. The team needs another playmaker on defense, and Neal is a tough player who can make a difference.

5. Keanu Neal

Neal is a first-round draft pick who will be expected to contribute right away. The team needs another playmaker on defense, and Neal is a tough player who can make a difference.

4. Mohamed Sanu

Mohamed Sanu Credit: Getty Images
The Falcons needed another target to take attention away from Julio Jones, and Sanu has plenty of ability. He will get his fair share of one on one coverage, and needs to make the most of his opportunities.

4. Mohamed Sanu

The Falcons needed another target to take attention away from Julio Jones, and Sanu has plenty of ability. He will get his fair share of one on one coverage, and needs to make the most of his opportunities.

3. Jake Matthews

Jake Matthews Credit: Getty Images
Matthews was a top draft pick, but has yet to develop into a dominating left tackle. He has shown promise and will continue to get better, however he must take that next step.

3. Jake Matthews

Matthews was a top draft pick, but has yet to develop into a dominating left tackle. He has shown promise and will continue to get better, however he must take that next step.

2. Vic Beasley Jr.

Vic Beasley Jr. Credit: Getty Images
The Falcons needed pass-rushing help, and decided to take Beasley early in the draft. He struggled with consistency in his first season, and a lot more will be expected from him this year.

2. Vic Beasley Jr.

The Falcons needed pass-rushing help, and decided to take Beasley early in the draft. He struggled with consistency in his first season, and a lot more will be expected from him this year.

1. Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan Credit: Getty Images
Ryan has had an up-and-down career so far, despite some talented playmakers around him. He is a good quarterback who needs a big year if his team is going to make it to the playoffs.

1. Matt Ryan

Ryan has had an up-and-down career so far, despite some talented playmakers around him. He is a good quarterback who needs a big year if his team is going to make it to the playoffs.

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