After drafting Ridley, Falcons may look to defense on Day 2

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — For once, the Atlanta Falcons passed up a chance to bolster their defense.

They figure there will be plenty of options on Day 2 of the NFL draft.

The Falcons selected Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley with the No. 26 overall pick Thursday night, giving the team another deep passing threat to pair with star Julio Jones.

After losing Dontari Poe in free agency to division rival Carolina, Atlanta also was looking to bulk up at defensive tackle. Florida’s Taven Bryan was available when the Falcons’ turn rolled around, but they decided to go with Ridley instead .

Bryan didn’t last much longer, snatched up by Jacksonville three picks later.

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It was the first time since 2014 that Atlanta selected an offensive player in the first round.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff says there are plenty of talented players still on the board, providing ample opportunities to fill the hole left by Poe’s departure. Offensive guard is another point of emphasis, even though the Falcons did sign free agent Brandon Fusco.

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On Friday, Atlanta is set to pick at No. 58 in the second round and No. 90 in the third round.

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