The Atlanta Falcons may still be reeling from their heartbreaking loss to the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, but there isn't any time left to sulk. They'll need to start planning on how they'll break through to the Super Bowl in 2013 and remain competitive for years to come, and how they spend their first-round draft pick in April will be crucial to the success of that mission.
While replacing Tony Gonzalez is important, making tight end one of the top priorities, there's still going to be a matter of the Falcons getting pieces on defense to improve a unit that was ranked 24th in yardage allowed. John Abraham was the only player on the team with more than four sacks in 2012, and he will be 35 next season. Those facts could lead to the drafting of University of Oregon defensive end/linebacker Dion Jordan, says Rob Rang of CBS Sports:
Jordan has struggled a bit with durability, but his upside is through the roof. At this point in the draft, Atlanta might see him as a steal and a potential replacement for the aging Abraham.
The addition of Jordan would certainly add athleticism and talent to a unit that struggled in creating consistent pressure against the quarterback. Of course, there is still the possibility that -- just like the Falcons did in 2011 to acquire Julio Jones -- Atlanta could trade up for a player that the team simply must have. Although, Jordan wouldn't be a bad consolation prize at No. 30.