The 8th-ranked Falcon player is new defensive end Osi Umenyiora. Click here to review the scoring system devised to create these rankings.
Total Score: 81
Player Grade: 73 out of 100
Teams he could start for: 28 out of 32
Teams he is best position player: 19 out of 32
Teams he could find role on: 32 out of 32
Peak-Year Bonus: +1
Positional Bonus: +4
Incoming defensive end Osi Umenyiora immediately steps in among the eight best players on the Falcons. Osi isn’t the player that he was a few years ago, but he’s still one of the better edge rushers in the league. He still has the capacity to take over games, particularly when he’s working against a subpar tackle. Just ask Marshall Newhouse and Aaron Rodgers.
He joins the Falcons to help provide pressure off the edge. Osi isn’t a young man, but if John Abraham is any template, he probably can give the Falcons another two or so years of peak production. And while Osi isn’t the most well-rounded defensive end due to his lacking production against the run, he plays a position where the premium is placed on pass rushing. And that’s what Osi does best, which is why he would start on all but a few NFL squads. At his worst, Osi is still one of the best situational pass rushers in the league
How the Falcons utilize Osi will be interesting this year. If their usage of Abraham last year is the template, then it will likely involve Osi playing with his hand off the ground and dropping into coverage a lot more than he did with the New York Giants. And he’ll likely be asked to be a more consistent run defender as well, given the Falcons issues there a season ago. How Osi adjusts to that change in role will be a big storyline for the Falcons 2013 season. But simply put, Osi was brought in to bring heat off the edge and as long as he shows he’s capable of doing that, whatever other tasks Mike Nolan has in store for him are secondary.