The Atlanta Falcons were one of the busiest teams in the NFL during the offseason. Finally free from “cap hell” after the last two years, the Falcons were big spenders in free agency and could have at least 10-new starters in 2023.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) picked the three-best players from every team in the NFL. They admit this exercise was a lot more difficult this year with the emerging young players and new acquisitions.
The first pick was easy, right guard Chris Lindstrom. They also went with left tackle Jake Matthews and tight end Kyle Pitts. The second and third spots on this list should encourage a healthy debate.
The Falcons’ influx of talent this offseason made this exercise a pleasant surprise for them. Lindstrom has to be on the list; he was the highest-graded guard in football last year, earning an astounding 95.0 overall mark with a 24.9% impact run-block percentage (his positively graded run-block rate).
Matthews wasn’t the next highest-graded player, but entering his 10th season, he has never posted a career grade below 70.0, including his 77.2 mark last year. Pitts, who hasn’t had the true takeover type of year we know he’s capable of yet, earned the last spot. Talent-wise, it’s all still there for him to shine in 2023.Trevor Sikkema, PFF Premium
Sikkema actually undersells Lindstrom. He wasn’t just the highest-graded guard by PFF, he was the highest graded player in the NFL regardless of position.
Matthews has been steady in his 10 years with the Falcons in an important position. However, Kaleb McGary was the fourth-highest graded offensive tackle in the NFL last year with an 86.6 grade from PFF.
Running back Tyler Allgeier was graded with an 86.7 after a record-breaking rookie season. X-factor Cordarrelle Patterson had an 81.0 grade and led the Falcons with eight touchdowns from scrimmage (and one record-breaking kick-off return).
Those three players weren’t even on the honorable-mention list from PFF.
And that’s just offense.
Newcomer Kaden Ellis was graded an 81.5 and seventh out of 81 possible edge rushers. Defensive lineman Calais Campbell might be 36-years old, but he still had a 76.9 grade from PFF and 5.5 sacks on just 550 defensive snaps.
For context, Jarrett led the Falcons last year with six sacks on 856 snaps.
Furthermore, rookie running back Bijan Robinson should be omitted from this list since he hasn’t played a down in the NFL, but he’s the leading candidate for rookie of the year in the NFL.
Robinson may be hard pressed to keep off this list next season if he comes close to expectations in 2023.
That’s more than a dozen players who could have a credible claim to being one of the Atlanta Falcons’ three-best players in 2023.
After back to back seven-win seasons, the talent is on the rise in Atlanta, and so are the expectations.