Joyner: Atlanta's defense is almost elite

Check out this Insider article by KC Joyner on the Atlanta defense.

KC is also known as “the football scientist’’ and he’s great at throwing out all sorts of metrics. Sometimes Joyner’s science shoots down conventional wisdom. In this case, it only helps make a stronger case for what most of us are pretty sure is coming.

Whenever free agency opens, the Falcons are going to go out and sign a top-notch pass-rusher. The names you hear most often are Ray Edwards and Charles Johnson and I think both are possibilities. Joyner also includes Cullen Jenkins, Mathias Kiwanuka and Jason Babin on his list.

His point is simple: It’s not all that important which one of those guys the Falcons get. They just need to improve their pass rush and their defense can become elite. Yeah, it would help if they improve in a few other areas, like tackling by the safeties, but a pass-rusher to go with John Abraham could put this team over the top.

The other thing I really like about Joyner’s article is that it points out the Falcons are just fine at cornerback. Yeah, they need one of their young players to step up as the nickelback, but Joyner’s got numeric proof that Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes are quality starters.

I know there are some fans out there saying the Falcons should sign Nnamdi Asomugha. I don’t get that. Yeah, he’s an outstanding cornerback, but the Falcons spent a ton of money on Robinson last year. At some point, they want to lock up Grimes to a long-term contract. That’s going to be a lot of money invested in one position. If you threw Asomugha into the mix, the Falcons probably would have more money invested in cornerbacks than any team in the league.

Another cornerback isn’t what the Falcons need. What they need is a guy who can rush the quarterback.