Neither, but hey:
They need to change the way that they evaluate or train linemen; otherwise, it doesn't seem to matter what resources they use. Since they haven't gone with a real FA try at OL, I'd like a reasonably reliable guard if one's available and a flier at a serviceable right tackle, unless the numbers on cutting Baker this year as opposed to next are just that bad.
As Pudge has pointed out a few times, ATL has not gotten good value for their dollar using draft choices on the OL, so burning the first rounder (or 2nd) on another OL seems silly. However, and contrary to the opinion that conservative playcalling caused a lot of the O's ineptness, the offensive line is f**** terrible. God awful. An abomination. Hideous. So, they need to be replaced in some form. While I still do see the value in drafting the best player available, especially if he happens to be an OL, if they don't change their evaluation philosophy they may as well look elsewhere with high draft choice.
I'd like to look up this winter and see both Reynolds and Baker cut. This means that at least two more guys come from somewhere, and possibly three if you can walk away from Johnson. Konz has a year to improve in practice, and hopefully replaces Hawley for the backup interior line position; having him play like the first center taken in the draft seems like asking a bit too much at this time.
That leaves us with the two worst players on the line last night, Holmes and Schrader. Leaving Sch alone against CJ probably isn't fully indicative of how he'll play next year, and Holmes--at some point--may actually realize that working out will help.
In essence: Baker, Reynolds, and Johnson are known, multi-year failures. Replace them, change the way Konz and Holmes are trained, and try to build up some strength or skill in the line.
This is also a real opportunity to shape a new defense as well.
The defense has the potential to be the more enjoyable build: I'd love to see Barr picked up with their first-round choice and paired with a later-round space-eater. If you want to go with the existing 3 DT rotation as the 3, you've got the four with Barr, Biermann, Spoon, Worrilow; Bartu and Massoquai are the main backups. Or, you can jettison the 3 (all in contract years) and start fresh with Robertson (meh), Matthews (meh) and Goodman+10lbs at the DE and pick up two guys to rotate at DT. The latter is pretty frightening, but it is cheap, and the 3 really just need to occupy space, not blow through their guys: leg presses and hand strengthening for all!
Osi's gone, Samuel's gone, DeCoud is gone (or one more year?) Of that, Barr replaces the (laughable) Osi contributions, a 3rd-4th cornerback is needed, and a fairly good center-fielder is important.
So, what I'd love to see:
FA: 1-2 decent-good lower-price OL, S, 4th CB, TE
Draft: Barr, OL, NT, S, WR with speed, 2 OL/DL fliers.
Atlanta cannot afford to enter "Win one for Roddy" mode, nor continue it's method of evaluating linemen.
I definitely agree with you on pretty much everything! I say we need to, over the next couple years, completely overhaul the OL. I think they're off to a good start by firing the OL coach. They need to go and get one who can come in with vision for the OL and effect both how we eval/draft/sign OLs and how they play. Perhaps a good coach at that position could bring more out of our younger players like Konz and Holmes. I want to see us go back to the original idea of a power OL, one that can hold up to the initial pass rush and give Ryan at least a chance. Also, a OL that can push for those short 1st downs and not get blasted off the line every time. They don't need to be spectacular, just have some level of consistency.
At the same time, we cannot ignore our DL. I think our pass defense would be pretty good if we could get some pass rush. I've wanted to see our team move to a 3-4 for a while, but we obviously don't have the personnel for it at the moment. However, we have FAs and options to make changes that would set us up to make that switch. I think that might be why they went ahead and let go the DL coach. Nolan (with his new extension) is ready to make the switch, and you need a DL coach who focuses on that alignment. Drafting Barr would be ideal for this transition, and we need to find a few NTs. I think we found a couple of capable LBs this year in Worrilow and Bartu, and we will get Beirmann and Spoon back healthy. Kroy and Barr on the outside and Spoon and Worrilow in the middle would be a solid start. We just need to get a few beasts for the front 3.