Getting “bigger and tougher” was the offseason’s mantra. (John Bazemore)
The Atlanta Falcons had Super Bowl aspirations going into last season but fell well short with a 4-12 record.
The primary issues? Injuries, and toughness at the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense
Quarterback Matt Ryan was hit a league-high – and career-high – 203 times last season. He was sacked 44 times – again, a career-high, and tied for third in the league.
The Falcons’ front office made it clear what the plans were for both the offseason and the draft: Protect the $100 million quarterback, and get tougher on both sides of the ball.