With the Atlanta Falcons draft and schedule now behind us as we enter the dog days of summer, let’s take a look at a social media trend making the rounds.
If you are a twitter user, you have more than likely seen the NFL team edition of most overrated, underrated, best player, key new addition, could surprise, will take a giant leap and prove-it season.
There are a lot of Falcons choices for those categories and some of them may be controversial for no other reason than people love to disagree for the sake of disagreement. Using those categories, let’s take a stab at who is the best Atlanta Falcons player in each area.
When you are coming off of back to back losing seasons, can anyone be overrated? Usually, fans and media love to tab someone as overrated because their contract is huge and their contributions are small.
Matt Ryan seems to be the choice made by a lot of Atlanta Falcons fans, but that could not be further from the truth. Matt is worth more than he is paid and is the franchises best player ever. To say he is overrated simply means you have a personal vendetta against a quarterback that has given this franchise everything he has in 12 years in addition to multiple touchdown leads in NFC Championship games in Super Bowls that his teammates let slip away.
As for the actual most overrated player on the 2020 roster, it has to be Takkarist McKinley. He has simply not lived up to the ridiculousness that he talks every time he takes to twitter. As a late first-round pick, he had some expectations, but he has amplified that by talking about his own expectations and then not living up to them.
Yes, he has statistically been the third most productive defensive end from the 2017 draft, but his production is far below where even Vic Beasley at this point.
This answer has to be Jake Matthews. People have uttered his name less than a dozen times in his 95 career starts. Sure, he has had some bad moments, but every player does.
During his Atlanta Falcons career, Jake Matthews has taken 6,292 snaps all at left tackle. He has been called for just 36 penalties in his career, of which three were declined. Imagine thinking that a left tackle that has performed that well over his career was anything but among the best at his position in the league.
While the offensive line for the Atlanta Falcons has been trash for most of Matt Ryan’s career, Jake Matthews has excelled at left tackle and will continue to be the player that this franchise needs over the next couple of seasons. At 28, he still has five to seven more great years ahead of him.
There are a few players that come to mind when you think of the best player for the Atlanta Falcons. Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, and Grady Jarrett all deserve consideration for this label. All three of them bring different but much-needed attributes to this franchise.
Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame players, but the difference and the reason that Julio is the best player on this roster is that Julio is on pace to be the greatest receiver to ever play the game.
If he is able to play another 10 years, he will break every record that Jerry Rice owns, and for that reason, I have to say that he is the best player on this Atlanta Falcons roster.
Key New Addition:
The Atlanta Falcons had quite a few new additions to the 2020 roster when you look at both free agency and the 2020 NFL draftees.
While all of them will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact, none of them will be bigger than Marlon Davidson. The hybrid defensive lineman out of Auburn will end up being the best player added to this Atlanta Falcons roster.
Teaming him with Grady Jarrett, Dante Fowler and Takk McKinley should result in the Falcons securing more than the 28 sacks they had in 28. The defensive line has to have a big year and Davidson will go a long way in shaping the
There was a lot of negativity surrounding A.J. Terrell after the Atlanta Falcons drafted him 16th overall. While I personally thought it was a bit of a stretch, he is a first-round talent and under the guidance of Joe Whitt Jr and Raheem Morris, Terrell should be exactly who the Falcons are looking for in the secondary.
Being a first-round pick comes with a lot of expectations but Terrell is a hard worker that has excelled and persevered through every challenge thrown his way. He will struggle at moments like every rookie does, but he will surprise a Falcons fans in 2020.
Last year the Atlanta Falcons took a big leap when they drafted defensive lineman John Cominsky out of a small Division II school in West Virginia in the fourth round.
Cominsky will take a giant leap on the field in 2020 and will provide some much-needed depth on the defensive line. Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was quoted this week in how the Falcons will use him in 2020.
"“[In our] base package we’re going to keep him at defensive end and then we do want to see him work some inside, we did that some last year and that was part of his progression,” Quinn said on Tuesday. “First and second downs [he will play] defensive end and then on some third-down scenarios, definitely work him inside.”"
Cominsky will take a giant leap on the field this year for the Falcons and the fans will love every second of it.
Prove It Season:
The easy answer here would be Takk McKinley given his fifth-year option was declined and you would be right. But there is not a singular answer to this question.
The fact is every man that makes the final roster and every coach on this staff are under a “prove it” season in 2020 and it will take all of them in order to get back to the playoffs after missing them the last two seasons.