A post-draft look at the Falcons’ 2017 opponents: The Bills, Game Four

FILE – In this Jan. 1, 2017, file photo, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins works out prior to an NFL football game against the New York Jets, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Bills have declined to pick up the fifth-year option on receiver Sammy Watkins’ contract for the 2018 season. The decision was announced Tuesday, May 2, 2017, by coach Sean McDermott and leaves Watkins’ future in Buffalo uncertain after this season.(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)

FLOWERY BRANCH — A look at the teams on the Falcons’ schedule and how they have reconstructed their roster since the season’s end:

GAME ONE: CHICAGO BEARS

GAME TWO: GREEN BAY PACKERS

GAME THREE: DETROIT LIONS 

GAME FOUR: BUFFALO BILLS

Bills at Falcons, at 1 p.m. Oct. 1

No longer with the Bills: Running back Mike Gillislee; safety Corey Graham; safety Aaron Williams; tight end Gerald Christian; kicker Dan Carpenter; cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman; long snapper Garrison Sanborn and  safety Phillip Thomas.

Key free agent signings: Safety Micah Hyde; free safety Jordan Poyer; kicker Steven Hauschka; fullback Patrick DiMarco; cornerback Shareece Wright; wide receiver Andre Holmes; guard Vladimir Ducasse; quarterback T.J. Yates; defensive end Ryan Davis and fullback Mike Tolbert.   

The 2017 NFL Draft

1 27 Tre’Davious White CB LSU
2 37 Zay Jones WR East Carolina
2 63 Dion Dawkins G Temple
5 163 Matt Milano OLB Boston College
5 171 Nathan Peterman QB Pittsburgh
6 195 Tanner Vallejo LB Boise State

Weaknesses: The Bills must upgrade their passing attack. They finished 30th in the league in passing yards per game with 189.8 yards. The Bills couldn’t stop the run last season. They gave up 133.1 yards per game, which ranked 29th in the league.  

Strengths: Running back LeSean McCoy powers the offense which led the league in rushing at 164.4 yards per game last season. Tyrod Taylor remains the quarterback.

Comment: The Bills went 7-9 last season and head coach Rex Ryan was dismissed. The Bills hired former Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott as the head coach.


FALCONS SCHEDULE

Exhibition season

Falcons at Miami Dolphins at 7 p.m. Aug. 10

Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers at 4 p.m. Aug. 20

Arizona Cardinals at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 26

Jacksonville Jaguars at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 31

Regular season

Sept. 10 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., Fox

Sept. 17 Green Bay Packers, 8:30 p.m. NBC

Sept. 24 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. Fox

Oct. 1 Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m., CBS

Oct. 8 BYE

Oct. 15 Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS

Oct. 22 at New England Patriots, 8:30 p.m., NBC

Oct. 29 at New York Jets, 1 p.m., Fox

Nov. 5 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox

Nov. 12 Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m., Fox

Nov. 20 at Seattle Seahawks (Mon) 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Nov. 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 3 Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 7 New Orleans Saints (Thur), 8:25 p.m., NBC/NFL Network/Amazon

Dec. 18 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mon). 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Dec. 24 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 31 Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox

THE FALCONS 2017 DRAFT

MUST READ PROFILE: Falcons top pick McKinley makes name for himself

2017 Falcons report card: Falcons earn a B-plus

NFC Champs add a pass rusher, quality depth 

1st rounder: Meet defensive end Takkarist McKinley

3rd rounder: Meet linebacker Duke Riley

4th rounder: Meet offensive guard Sean Harlow

5th rounder: Meet defensive back Damontae Kazee

5th rounder: Meet running back Brian Hill

5th rounder: Meet tight end Eric Saubert

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