Matt Ryan and Matt Hennessy PFF Top 101 Player
Atlanta Falcons News

Five Falcons Including One Shocker on PFF Top 101 Players

Pro Football Focus (PFF) released a Top 101 NFL Player list comprised heavily from their seasonal grades. Five Atlanta Falcons made the list including one that even shocks Falcons fans.

PFF tries to do the impossible every week trying to grade every snap of every player in every game.

Their results make for a good guide but should not be considered the bible when making decisions on players. Grades are subjective and done by different people. What one PFF grader in Tacoma, Wash. may consider a winning rep for Grady Jarrett against Donovan Smith, another may consider a loss.

PFF has been on the A.J. Terrell bandwagon all season, and they graded him the second-best cornerback  in the NFL behind Super Bowl winner Jalen Ramsey of the LA Rams. Terrell is the first of five Falcons on the list ranked No. 47 overall.

Offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom was No. 55 on the list with a grade of 84.9. He was the only bright spot on a Falcons offensive line that failed to establish anything during the season. They struggled running the ball, and they struggled protecting quarterback Matt Ryan.  

Lindstrom played 1,034 snaps for the Falcons and did not give up a sack.

Running back Cordarrelle Patterson checks in at No. 67 on the list. Patterson became an x-factor for the Falcons and led the team in rushing yards and touchdowns as well as receiving touchdowns. He was easily the MVP of the Falcons team.

Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts is the fourth Atlanta Falcon to make the list. Pitts broke Julio Jones franchise record for receiving yards by a Falcons rookie with 1,026 yards. He came into the league with huge expectations and managed to meet or even exceed them in his first season.

Finally, center Matt Hennessy makes the list as the 101st player on the list. 

Mr. Irrelevant. Only instead of being the final player drafted in the NFL, Hennessy is 101 on a list that graded over 2,000 players. 

Says PFF of Hennessy:

“Matt Hennessy was much improved in Year 2 after an ugly rookie campaign a season ago,” wrote PFF. “His overall PFF grade jumped more than 30 points, and his pass-blocking grade was up more than 20. Pass-blocking remains his weaker area, but as a center, it is less of a problem than on other positions on the offensive line. His run-blocking grade of 89.1 was elite, and his trajectory is pointed in the right direction.”
PFF may say one thing, but the eye test told us something different. Hennessy struggled mightily in his first season as a starter and split reps at center with fourth-round draft pick Drew Dalman against Dallas, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville.

While not the turnstile left guard Jalen Mayfield and right tackle Kaleb McGary were on his opposite sides, Hennessy was more a liability than a strength of the Falcons 29th ranked offense.

The Falcons would love if Hennessy’s production on the field matched his PFF grade; that would be one less position to worry about this offseason on a team with more holes than solid starters.

The Falcons have bigger worries at guard, tackle, receiver, safety, linebacker, defensive line, and cornerback before Matt Hennessy becomes the biggest concern on the team.

But not being the biggest problem on the Falcons roster, doesn’t make him a top 101 player in the NFL. 

Here’s hoping Falcons fans agree with that label in 2022.

Scott Kennedy
Scott Kennedy is an Atlanta native and 20 year media veteran including time as Director of Scouting at, Managing Editor at 247Sports, VP Content Operations at Sports Illustrated and more. Scott has appeared as a recruiting and NFL Draft analyst on dozens of media including ESPN, NFL Network, USA Today, NY Times, and more.