Falcons 2020 Year End Review: Defensive End

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 13: Carlos Hyde (30) runs into Dante Fowler Jr. (56) of the Atlanta Falcons during the NFL Week 1 game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks on September 13, 2020 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

2020, from start to finish, wasn’t the year any of us wanted. In purely NFL terms, the Atlanta Falcons had as poor a year as they’ve had in recent history. The players fell flat on their face immediately after leaving the starting gate, the long time General Manager and Head Coach duo were unceremoniously moved on mid-season, and the team ended the season with their highest draft pick since 2008. It was a mess.

With the season over, it’s time to dissect that mess. As we face an uncertain new future, let’s take one last look back at the season, so see if there’s anything positive we can take into the new regime. So, join me as we sift through the awful to, hopefully, find little nuggets of good.

Dante Fowler Jr – F
Steven Means – C-
Allen Bailey – D
Charles Harris – C-

John Cominsky – D

An awful season for the Falcons designated pass rushers. The Thomas Dimitroff/Dan Quinn brain trust placed a whole lot of faith in Dante Fowler who, coming off a career year in 2019, flopped hard. He has since stated he played injured for the majority of the season, which would explain his overall lack of productivity. You cannot look past the fact that he was nowhere close to the player the Falcons thought they were getting. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Terry Fontenot opt to get out of that disgusting contract as quickly as possible.

Steven Means and Charles Harris both registered 3 sacks each. That figure isn’t at all dreadful when you take into account the considerably lowered expectations on their shoulders. Neither player is under contract in 2021, however you’d expect at least one to return for depth purposes. Elsewhere, Allen Bailey looked fine in rotation, and John Cominsky showed he would be capable of adapting to a potential scheme change, but there wasn’t a truly consistent performer across the group.

Heading into 2021, Fontenot will absolutely have to address the position as a matter of urgency. 2020 was ugly for Falcons defensive ends, and a large reason behind the demise of the Dimitroff/Quinn era.

Featured Image Credit: David J. Griffin-Icon Sportswire

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