-Acquired/Reacquired: TE Levine Toilolo, DE Jack Crawford, DT Dontari Poe, SS Kemal Ishmael, WR Andre Roberts, LB LaRoy Reynolds, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson
-Relinquished: FB Patrick DiMarco, WR Aldrick Robinson, LB Paul Worillow, OT Tom Compton, WR Eric Weems
The defending NFC champions look to repeat while also looking to avoid another historic Super Bowl loss. Tom Brady and the Patriots offense overcame a 28-3 deficit against Atlanta to win Super Bowl 51. The front office for the Falcons could not let that go unaddressed, and the team has shored up on defense to start this offseason out.
Poe emerged as a standout pressure-man in Kansas City, and fits into Atlanta’s front-7 beautifully. Crawford comes over from Dallas, providing yet another pass rusher to go with Adrian Clayborn and Courtney Upshaw on the defensive line. They also still have the young stand-out Vic Beasley in the linebacker corp. Drew Brees will face pressure from this Falcons defense both times they play this season.
Their explosive offense, starring the All-Pro duo of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, also (somehow) got even better. They replaced the aging Weems with Roberts, an impressive return-man and speedy wide receiver. With the draft still to come, Atlanta could find a gem on either side of the ball, furthering their excellent status in the NFC. Unless the Saints’ offensive line and secondary play at a top-15 level this year, they will have a lot of trouble trying to handle and defeat this stout Atlanta team.