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Falcons Sign DT Vincent Taylor; Does Draft Strategy Change?

By adding a defensive tackle in free agency, does this force the team to look elsewhere in the draft?

The Atlanta Falcons made another small splash in free agency, signing free agent defensive tackle Vincent Taylor to a one-year deal Saturday.

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Terry Fontenot Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Taylor, 28, is now with his fifth team in five years. Since entering the league as a sixth-round pick in 2017, Taylor has played for the Miami Dolphins (2017-18), Buffalo Bills (2019), Cleveland Browns (2020) and Houston Texans (2021). However, Taylor suffered an ankle injury and was placed on injured reserve after just one game last season.

Now, the Falcons hope that he can return to health and provide depth in a position of need on the defense.

The 6-3, 311-pound defensive tackle has been primarily a role player throughout his career, and his playing time for the Falcons will likely be dictated in what the team decides to do in the draft.

The Falcons have been linked to defensive tackles in the draft, including Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis from Georgia, but with Taylor's arrival, will that lead the Falcons to go in different directions?

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That's not exactly the case.

General manager Terry Fontenot has a "best player available" mentality for every pick in the draft and Taylor doesn't move the needle too much for the position group. He, like many free agent signings this offseason, have been one-year journeyman deals to bring in some veterans to teach and compete alongside younger guys.

In a radio interview earlier in the week, defensive coordinator Dean Pees stressed the need for rookie upgrades to the defense.

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Dean Pees Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports 2

"There's a lot of things I'm talking to them about what we need," Pees told 92.9 The Game. "But that [pass rusher] is certainly a priority. I'd take all nine picks on the daggone defense if we could get 'em."

While it's unlikely all nine Falcons picks will be on defense, any small signing from here on out isn't going to change much of the team's draft needs.