Impending IDP Free Agent Vacancies – Atlanta Falcons

There are impending free agents all around the NFL. Here, I will examine how those free agents may affect different teams. Today, we look at what the future may look like for the Atlanta Falcons.

The 2023 impending IDP free agents for the Atlanta Falcons are opening the door for some young and hungry players. Four first-string defensive players become unrestricted free agents on March 15th at 4 pm eastern time. The possibility of these players re-signing with the Falcons also exists.

The Falcons will also have a new defensive coordinator in 2023, so the time is now to do a price check on the players looking to fill the vacancies.

1. Rashaan Evans, LB

Evans played at least 98% of the defensive snaps in 15 of 17 games. He produced a whopping 159 tackles (86 solos), 6 tackles for a loss, 3 QB hits, 2 sacks, 4 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries.

Who benefits if Evans leaves?

I believe the first beneficiary would be Troy Andersen. His defensive snaps increased as the year went on. In 10 of his first 11 games, Andersen played 41% or less of the defensive snaps. The one exception was week six when Mykal Walker missed the game due to injury. Andersen produced an incredible 13 tackles, with seven of them being solos.

After the Falcons’ bye in Week 14, Andersen played 82%, 88%, 86%, and 95% of the defensive snaps for weeks 15-18. He delivered 21 tackles (13 solos), 2 QB hits, and a forced fumble. After playing QB, RB, and LB for the Montana State Bobcats, this NFL second-round pick is ready to explode on the scene in 2023.

2. Lorenzo Carter, LB

Just like Evans, Carter was signed to a one-year contract. Carter played 70% or more of the defensive snaps in every game. He even played 80% or more of the defensive snaps in 11 of his 17 games. Carter did not produce as the Falcons had hoped, though.

He had his best year to date, but the stats were just 58 tackles (29 solos), 6 tackles for a loss, 12 QB hits, 4 sacks, 2 passes defended, 1 interception, which was returned for a TD, and a fumble recovery.

Who benefits if Carter leaves?

Who could take Carter’s place and be more productive for us IDP owners? Let’s look at Arnold Ebiketie, the second-round pick out of Penn State last year. He got his feet wet as a rookie in playing 50% or more of the defensive snaps in nine of the 17 games he played.

Ebiketie delivered in his limited playing time with 30 tackles (21 solos), 3 tackles for a loss, 11 QB hits, 2.5 sacks, 2 passes defended, and 2 forced fumbles. With Carter more than likely gone after his first year, Ebiketie should enjoy the defensive snaps that were vacated. He may be on a roster, but time to do the price check.

3. Abdullah Anderson

Anderson is another of the impending IDP free agents that may not return to the Falcons for 2023. He played 40% or more of the snaps at DT for the Falcons, his fourth team in four years. He posted career-best numbers but only produced 40 tackles, with just 15 being solo, 2 tackles for a loss, 1 QB hit, 1 sack, and 1 pass defended.

I believe this production will give Anderson his fifth team in five years.

Who benefits if Anderson leaves?

Undrafted out of Kansas State, Timmy Horne is on the fast track to relevance as a defensive tackle with the Falcons. Not only did he surprise by making the active roster to start the season, but he was also relevant. In seven of his first 10 games, Horne played just 28% or less of the defensive snaps. However, by Week 16, he played 71% of those defensive snaps.

Horne recorded tackles in 10 straight games and started five of those games. For his rookie season, he posted 27 tackles (13 solos), 1 QB hit, and a pass defended. It usually takes three years for a DT to hit his stride, but I believe Horne will hit it in year two. Pluck him off the waiver wire now.

4. Isaiah Oliver, CB

In 2019 and 2020, Oliver found his place in the Falcons’ defensive secondary. He posted 132 tackles (101 solos), 4 tackles for a loss, 3 QB hits, 1 sack, 17 passes defended, and 2 forced fumbles. Oliver started strong in 2021 and suffered a season-ending torn ACL in week four. He did not return to the field until week six of 2022. The numbers were not quite as strong as in 2019 and 2020.

Who benefits if Oliver leaves?

The last of the 2022 players to fill a potential vacancy is a long shot, but someone to keep an eye on. His name is DeAundre Alford, and he goes by Dee. Alford was undrafted out of a college that no one has heard of by the name of Tusculum University, located in Greeneville, Tn.

Alford recorded 140 tackles in his 40 games played for the Pioneers. He also had 40 passes defended and 10 interceptions. Alford fits best as the slot cornerback at just 5′ 11″ and 175 lbs. In 2020, he played under contract in Canada for the CFL. The pandemic canceled the 2020 season, so Alford waited to show his skills until 2021 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Alford signed as an unrestricted free agent this past year and earned a spot on the active roster immediately with his training camp and pre-season work with the Falcons. In only half the season, Alford broke 20% of the defensive snaps or more in his NFL debut season.

In his minimal playing time, he showed that he is ready to show his worth to the Falcons’ defensive backfield. Alford produced 25 tackles (18 solos), 1 tackle for a loss, one QB hit, .5 sacks, 7 passes defended, and an interception. Not too bad for just over 200 total defensive snaps on the year. He will only get better, and he is my deep sleeper to target for the CB vacancy on the Falcons.

Thank you for checking out my 23′ IDP Free Agency Delivers Vacancies article! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please consider becoming a subscriber!

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