We got London on da track: The 2022 Atlanta Falcons OFFICIAL Season thread

AVXL

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We back at it brethren! :blessed:

Let’s take a look back at the offseason highlights and draft. Then we’ll get to roster projections, camp battles and preseason games. Remember it’s only 3 preseason games this year and our first game is this Friday August 12th in Detroit :mjgrin:

Offseason highlights:

An up-and-down 7-10 season in general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith's opening campaign led way to an eventful offseason for the Atlanta Falcons.

Despite not having much cap space to work with, Fontenot bargain-shopped himself into another solid free agent class. Then, Atlanta's second-year general manager infused young talent at positions of need across the board.

Still, three events stand out above all as the most important offseason moves.

3. Signing CB Casey Hayward​

The Falcons' addition of Hayward wasn't talked about enough at the time, as it occurred in the midst of the team's pursuit of now-Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.

The 32-year-old Georgia native has started 103 regular season games over the last seven campaigns, missing just two total contests. Hayward offers an experienced, consistent veteran presence to man a starting cornerback position opposite 2021 second team All-Pro A.J. Terrell, giving the Falcons one of the league's best corner duos.

According to PFF, Hayward allowed less than 30 yards in 15 of his 18 games last season. He offers tremendous value to the Falcons both on and off the gridiron, which is particularly important considering the transitional phase that Atlanta is currently in.

2. Trading for WR Bryan Edwards​

The Falcons acquired Edwards from the Raiders in May, just a few weeks after spending a top-10 pick on USC receiver Drake London. Instantly upon arrival, the pair became Atlanta's top options at the position.

In less than a year, Atlanta lost receivers Julio Jones and Russell Gage, and will be playing without the suspended Calvin Ridley in 2022. For the team to add Edwards, a third-year receiver who started 12 games for Las Vegas and posted 34 receptions for 571 yards and three touchdowns, for just a fifth-round pick is a stellar move by Fontenot.

Edwards, 23, was a third-round pick in 2020, but seemingly wasn't viewed as a fit by Las Vegas' new coaching staff. Instead, he found a good landing spot in Atlanta, where Edwards' 6-3, 212-pound frame is exactly what Smith wants in his receivers.

If Edwards stays healthy, he has a chance to post career-best numbers and continue the upward trajectory his career is headed towards. For as much as Atlanta's offense needed a player like Edwards, one could argue he needed Atlanta even more.

1. The QB carousel​

It's extremely difficult to succeed in the NFL without having an impact player under center. That's why teams often spend premium draft picks on quarterbacks and pay top-dollar to retain their services.

As such, trading a franchise staple and former MVP in quarterback Matt Ryan was a tough decision, but one that had to be made for both parties. For Ryan, he gets a chance to compete for Super Bowls before hanging up the cleats, while the Falcons will be able to get his contract off the books after this season and bring in better fits for Smith's offense.

The trade almost had to happen after Atlanta's failed pursuit of quarterback Deshaun Watson, which alienated Ryan and revealed their interest in creating change at the position. As it's turned out, the Falcons seemingly dodged a bullet by not acquiring Watson, who's now staring down a long suspension in Cleveland.

Instead of Ryan and Watson, the Falcons will be rolling with veteran Marcus Mariota, who the team signed the day they traded Ryan, and rookie third-rounder Desmond Ridder. Both provide the team with more mobility at quarterback and got off to good starts during OTAs.

Perhaps the biggest plus for the Falcons is the lack of long-term financial commitment to each player. Mariota's cap hit jumps by $10 million from 2022 to 2023, but if the Falcons choose to let him go after one season, they'll incur only $2.5 million in dead cap.

For Ridder, being a third-round pick, Atlanta didn't spend immense draft capital on him, meaning there's less commitment than had he been a premium selection. For the Falcons, this means they can address the position again next year if they need to and the opportunity presents itself.

Ultimately, the 2022 offseason will be remembered as the year the Falcons traded Ryan, but it has a chance to go down as the free agent class that changed the standard, the draft class that provided the young playmakers needed to take the team to the next level, and the quarterback carousel that resulted in the next great franchise player

2022 Draft class:

1. Drake London-WR (USC)
2. Arnold Ebiketie-EDGE (Penn State)
3. Troy Andersen-LB (Montana State)
4. Desmond Ridder-QB (Cincinnati)
5. DeAngelo Malone-EDGE (Western Kentucky)
6. Tyler Allgeier-RB (BYU)
7. Justin Schaefer-G (UGA)
8. John FitzPatrick-TE (UGA)
 
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AVXL

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Falcons 53-man roster projection: Preseason Week 1 Edition​



No major surprises but I’m keeping my eye on the OL

These are The Falcoholic’s OL projected starter depth after Week 1 (Jalen Mayfield has had a rough camp and now he’s hurt his back)

OL - 9​

LT Jake Matthews
LG Elijah Wilkinson
C Matt Hennessy
RG Chris Lindstrom
RT Kaleb McGary


Other than that Pitts has been unguardable in camp, Richie Grant has settled in at S and Lorenzo Carter (UGA) has looked good as an EDGE rusher. DT has been shaky with Goldman signing and then retiring and losing Vincent Taylor to an ACL injury. It’ll be Grady and a bunch of filler.

USA Today had us projected at 2-15 :mjlol: but I think we’re a little better than that. That said I’d be shocked if we won more than 5 games. What y’all boys think? :jbhmm:
 

portcityplaya

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Can go head and turn this to the offseason thread.
Who yall drafting in the top 5 this year? Probably somebody who gon be trash like everyone else on your roster :mjlol:
 

Kaedus

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We'll probably be trash but this team pulled 7 wins and being in the playoff race until the last 2 weeks of the season out its ass last year and got better/not worse at every position but QB. There's a team every year that gets 9-10 wins for no damn reason and there's enough there to think it could be us :manny:
 

AVXL

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We'll probably be trash but this team pulled 7 wins and being in the playoff race until the last 2 weeks of the season out its ass last year and got better/not worse at every position but QB. There's a team every year that gets 9-10 wins for no damn reason and there's enough there to think it could be us :manny:

Whatup bro? I mean I don’t have any expectations for this year except to be not competitive. It’s hard to look at Mariota as our starting QB and expect to play meaningful games, that said if we’re being optimistic London has been great in camp and before Edwards got dinged up, this could be a solid WR group. We all know what Pitts and Patterson are capable of and I feel like the line will be better. If those things happen and Mariota just plays smart and responsible as a dual threat QB the offense isn’t that big of a question mark and could actually be solid.

On defense, the secondary should be good, AJ and Hayward are solid.

I’m not sold on our LB corp and I don’t know if we ever see Debo again as a Falcon. Up front we might get run on pretty good and outside of Lorenzo IDK how we get to the QB. I know Dean Pees has a plan but I think that’s gonna be a struggle for us every wk
 

Kaedus

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Whatup bro? I mean I don’t have any expectations for this year except to be not competitive. It’s hard to look at Mariota as our starting QB and expect to play meaningful games, that said if we’re being optimistic London has been great in camp and before Edwards got dinged up, this could be a solid WR group. We all know what Pitts and Patterson are capable of and I feel like the line will be better. If those things happen and Mariota just plays smart and responsible as a dual threat QB the offense isn’t that big of a question mark and could actually be solid.

On defense, the secondary should be good, AJ and Hayward are solid.

I’m not sold on our LB corp and I don’t know if we ever see Debo again as a Falcon. Up front we might get run on pretty good and outside of Lorenzo IDK how we get to the QB. I know Dean Pees has a plan but I think that’s gonna be a struggle for us every wk

Running full intentional schemes on both sides of the ball should help this team outperform the sum of its parts. I don't think Coach Smith is a "genius" per se, but I really think he was handcuffed by Matt's cacletheticism. The offense was all Matt last season because it was literally all Matt Ryan-style plays. Just being able to call something as simple as a designed rollout will open the playbook up.

We've heard since last year that Pees was taking his time installing the defense. Now it's a year deep with a top 5 CB core, young talent on all 3 levels, and some nice buy-low projects like Carter and Evans. We stop the run decently and we can be a top 15 defense.

We have so many lottery tickets on this team right now that a couple gotta hit. It might be TeQuon Graham, Auden Tate and Avery Williams, or Ogundeji, Firkser, and Anthony Rush. But we're gonna get some plays made.
 

AVXL

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Running full intentional schemes on both sides of the ball should help this team outperform the sum of its parts. I don't think Coach Smith is a "genius" per se, but I really think he was handcuffed by Matt's cacletheticism. The offense was all Matt last season because it was literally all Matt Ryan-style plays. Just being able to call something as simple as a designed rollout will open the playbook up.

We've heard since last year that Pees was taking his time installing the defense. Now it's a year deep with a top 5 CB core, young talent on all 3 levels, and some nice buy-low projects like Carter and Evans. We stop the run decently and we can be a top 15 defense.

We have so many lottery tickets on this team right now that a couple gotta hit. It might be TeQuon Graham, Auden Tate and Avery Williams, or Ogundeji, Firkser, and Anthony Rush. But we're gonna get some plays made.

Interior of this line and EDGE concern me greatly. I think you can piece it together at LB but the inside of this line is a bunch of nobodies opposite Grady and that was before the injuries inside. We just signed DT Abdullah Anderson but he’s just a body. Marlon Davidson is mediocre asf. We’ll see how they play or better yet how Pees schemes but I think we’re gonna struggle up front with depth and talent. We’ve got the secondary to hold up but up front :huhldup:
 
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