Falcons projected to have a problem at edge rusher in 2024

The Atlanta Falcons had a clear checklist going into 2024:

  • Get some new coaches in Flowery Branch that are ready to win now. Check.
  • Revamp the receiver room and prioritize speed. Check.
  • Get a new quarterback in here. Check and Check.

What was not on the checklist? A new pass-rusher. According to ESPN’s Mike Clay’s 2024 NFL Projections, that could be a grave mistake. Clay projected Atlanta’s edge unit 32nd, dead last, in projected production in 2024.

Atlanta’s Edge Rushers

  • Lorenzo Carter
  • Arnold Ebiketie
  • Bralen Trice
  • James Smith-Williams
  • Bradlee Anae

Other notable teams:

Last year, the Falcons recorded 42 sacks, tied for sixth-most in franchise history with the 1985 and 1977 Falcons, and are the most the franchise has seen since 2004 (Thank you, Patrick Kerney and Roderick Coleman). But with defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen calling plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars and 13 of those sacks gone with the departures of Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree, there is a true question of where those sacks will come from.

The thought is that third-year pass-rusher Arnold Ebiketie can take that step to become the premier pass-rusher for Atlanta. Last year, Ebiketie played 384 snaps, almost half of Dupree and Campbell’s snaps last season, and was still able to nab six sacks on the season, only a half-sack behind Dupree and Campbell. So, the thinking is that with more snaps, Ebiketie’s sack production will also increase, possibly into the double-digits.

Rookie Bralen Trice is another intriguing name for Atlanta, as he was a consistent disruptor as a Washington Husky.

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