The Atlanta Falcons are about one month away from opening their 2023 training camp.
With the team on the field once again, there should be no shortage of positional battles. CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin predicted the team’s top position battle of camp to be at running back.
In fact, Benjamin named the Falcons offensive backfield one of the most intriguing positional battles to watch during training camp across the entire NFL.
“Robinson is poised to be Atlanta’s future as the No. 8 overall pick. His combo of size and speed should draw immediate carries in Arthur Smith’s run-first offense,” Benjamin wrote. “But Allgeier was a natural finding holes as a 1,000-yard rookie starter. He’s an underrated candidate to retain snaps — and perhaps push Robinson into an initial third-down role — with a strong summer.”
But in modern football, running back competitions are a bit different than a quarterback battle. While there can be only one quarterback, true workhorse running backs are rare in today’s NFL.
Although Robinson and Allgeier could definitely compete in July for playing time during the season, both should receive their fair share of snaps. That’s especially true with Robinson’s ability to line up at wide receiver, and Atlanta’s lack of receiving depth on the outside.
For the true Falcons fan, the more intriguing position battle may be at cornerback.
Former No. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah is the presumed starter opposite A.J. Terrell, but Okudah has hardly lived up to the hype of being a former top 5 pick. That’s why the Detroit Lions were willing to depart with him for only a fifth-round pick.
To do so, the Lions also had to eat a large portion of Okudah’s salary.
Newly-signed veteran Tre Flowers could push Okudah at the outside cornerback spot opposite Terrell. Rookie fourth-round pick Clark Phillips III could also be an option.
The Falcons also signed Mike Hughes in free agency, but he is expected to play mostly in the slot.
Atlanta’s competition at running back will likely be highlight-reel worthy. But what transpires in July at cornerback for the Falcons could have a bigger impact on playing time.