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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Falcons targeting a defensive end?

Atlanta must find a good pass-rusher in the offseason. Can they get one with their late first round pick?

US PRESSWIRE

The Atlanta Falcons might still be reeling from their loss to the 49ers in the NFC Championship game, but they've still got work to do if they are going to be back fighting for a trip to the Super Bowl in 2013. There are several key areas where the team is getting older or possibly having important players retire, and those will be the areas that Atlanta is likely to focus in the draft in April.

For more on the Falcons, check out the Falcoholic.

Besides Tony Gonzalez likely saying goodbye to the NFL forever, defensive end John Abraham will be 35. Not only that, but Abraham (10 sacks) was the only player to record more than four sacks for the Falcons last season. Finding a pass-rushing defensive end will be crucial for Atlanta. One such player that could possibly be had with the 30th pick in the draft is defensive end Sam Montgomery out of LSU. Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft projected Montgomery to Atlanta in his latest mock:

He's a talented defensive end with size. With John Abraham nearing the end of his career, Montgomery could develop into the pass rusher the Falcons need going forward.

Many folks will be projecting a tight end to the Falcons to help replace Gonzalez, and there are plenty of good tight ends in this year's draft, but finding a pass-rusher will be just as important for Atlanta. Will Montgomery be available though?

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.