Falcons: Scant young talent for Quinn

This won't be an easy rebuilding job for new Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, who will have the power to shape the roster to his liking. As the quasi-GM he'll have to acquire more talent, and as the head coach he will have to develop young talent on a roster that lacks it.

His challenge is reflected by ESPN.com's ranking of every NFL team ($) based on the talent of their players 25-and-under. This is no small matter. Good, young players tend to be cheaper and healthier players, and having a lot of them means greater depth, more resources available to pay veterans and more hope of internal improvement.

According to ESPN, only three teams have less young talent than the Falcons, who check in at No. 29 in its rankings. ESPN tabs the five best 25-and-under players on each team and here are its blurbs on the Falcons:

Julio Jones, WR (25): Jones has as much raw ability as any receiver -- and maybe any player at any position -- in the entire league. Durability and drops are a bit of a concern, but his talent more than makes up for it -- and he is still learning the nuances of playing the position.

Desmond Trufant, CB (24): A true bright spot on the Falcons' defense, Trufant should now be considered a Pro Bowl-caliber corner, if not one of the very best players at the position in the NFL. Trufant not only had an outstanding season as a coverage player but also was a major force against the run.

Jake Matthews, OT (22): Matthews appeared to be an extremely safe draft prospect, and despite his major struggles as a rookie, I still see him as a long-term, high-end starting left tackle in the NFL. He should be a foundation player for Atlanta.

Devonta Freeman, RB (22): Freeman isn't the biggest back, but he has skills in the passing game and runs with great aggression. He might never be a true featured back (Ahmad Bradshaw is a good comp), but expect Freeman's touches to increase significantly in 2015.

Paul Worrilow, LB (24): Worrilow isn't the biggest or fastest linebacker, but he has racked up a lot of tackles in his two NFL seasons and is always around the football. He should be a solid piece of Atlanta's defense for the foreseeable future.

ESPN says seven teams with equal or worse records than the Falcons last season have more young talent: the Rams (ranked No. 3), Saints (15), Jaguars (22) , Giants (25), Titans (26), Raiders (27) and Jets (28).

There also isn't much regard for Atlanta's roster as a whole. Pro Football Focus analyzed the teams that played in conference championship games from 2007 through 2013 and determined that, on average, it evaluated 40 percent of the qualifying players (at least 250 snaps) on those rosters as "good" or "elite." According to Pro Football Focus, the Falcons currently are 10 good/elite players short of the 13 required to reach the talent threshold of recent Super Bowl contenders.

Quinn will have to acquire better players and also get more out of those he keeps. He must do a quick rebuild with the pressure of the 2017 stadium opening (and the resulting anger of fans faced with paying PSLs) in the background. Quinn reports directly to owner Arthur Blank, who tends to be in the foreground.

Welcome to Atlanta, Coach Quinn. Good luck.