2016 Draft Needs: Falcons To Bolster Running Back Depth After Draft

Brett Davis-USA TODAY SportsTerron Ward

The Atlanta Falcons are certainly in a position to add more depth and competition at the running back and fullback positions for this summer’s training camp, but it’s unlikely to involve a draft selection in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft.

That’s because the team’s starting lineup at both positions are pretty set with Devonta Freeman at running back and Patrick DiMarco at fullback, as both players are coming off Pro Bowl seasons in 2015.

Beyond them, the team isn’t currently hurting for decent depth options with a pair of second-year players in Tevin Coleman and Terron Ward backing up Freeman as they did in 2015. The team could certainly add some more depth at fullback, but teams should never devote draft picks to lead blockers in general and certainly should avoid that position when they already have a Pro Bowler on the roster.

Instead the Falcons are likely to scour undrafted free agency to bring in added competition at both positions. Freeman and Coleman are entrenched in their roster spots, but the team could use the opportunities presented after the draft to add some players that could push Ward for the third running back position.

At fullback, none of the potential additions are strong bets to make the roster since the Falcons haven’t managed to carry two true fullbacks on their roster during the regular season since 2009. But with a good training camp, there’s always that possibility that someone might surprise. However more than likely, any good additions in undrafted free agency at fullback will be destined to competing for a chance at the practice squad rather than a slot on the 53-man roster.

Again, because the Falcons are looking for added competition in training camp, it doesn’t merit a draft selection. Even if the Falcons were able to gain additional draft picks via trading back on draft day, they’d be unlikely to use one at these positions because they are relatively secure.

But multiple additions in undrafted free agency could certainly shake up the depth chart this summer under the right circumstances.

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Aaron Freeman
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