The Atlanta Falcons will have eight players on the 2021 NFL Top 100 players list.
For 2020, the Atlanta Falcons only had three players on this list – Grady Jarrett, Todd Gurley, and Julio Jones – only Jones and Jarrett have actually suited up for the club. Most universally agree that quarterback Matt Ryan should have been on that list, especially when Jared Goff and Josh Allen made the list.
No one should be shocked the Falcons had little representation on that list, they are coming off back to back losing seasons and have not won a playoff game since beating the Rams in January of 2018. However, the Atlanta Falcons will have a major bounce-back year in 2020 and the franchise will see deserving members make the list in 2021.
Remember, the NFL Network claims that this list is voted on by the players. They claim that ballots are sent out near the end of November – many current NFL players have stated they have never voted on this listing, so missing out on the list means very little but still being acknowledged for being among the best at what you do, is an honor.
The fact that Deion Jones was not on this list, to begin with, is garbage. He is the best cover linebacker in the NFL and routinely does a great job against elite playmakers such as Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey.
He has made his presence felt among the quarterbacks in the NFC South over his first few years in the league. While his 2019 season was a “down year” according to PFF, he still graded out as one of the best linebackers in the league.
A completely healthy 2020 campaign will remind players and fans across the NFL just how elite Deion Jones is.
The honest truth about Calvin Ridley in his first couple of seasons is that he has not been consistent. He is one of the best route runners in the league and one of the fastest receivers on any roster but he has been highly inconsistent.
Ridley will be the undisputed number two receiver in 2020 and that will provide additional targets and chances to make plays. Along with Julio Jones, Ridley will have an opportunity to showcase exactly how good he is and will have opportunities to fill up stat sheets week in and week out.
If Ridley can find consistency in 2020, he will find himself on his first-ever NFL Top 100 list.
One of the smartest and hardest-hitting safeties in the NFL but also one who has seen his reputation take a huge hit because of major back to back season-ending injuries.
When healthy and on the field, Keanu Neal makes his presence felt. He is someone that opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks have to scheme and account for. A healthy Keanu Neal is one of the Top 100 players in the NFL.
Since he had his name called in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, it has been fun to watch him go from being booed to being loved by Atlanta Falcons faithful as everyone realized how important and how good he is.
Seeing a trend yet? The Atlanta Falcons defense has some really really good pieces in 2020 and several that can prove they are among the best in the league from both a peer standpoint as well as a media/fan standpoint.
Dante Fowler is coming off of a very impressive year in 2019, it was actually kind of shocking to not see him on the list. However, after he has a better 2020 than he did 2019, the league’s players will have no choice but to add him to the list in 2021.
Fowler’s addition to the Falcons roster means big things are on the horizon in 2020 for the club’s defensive line.
Matt Ryan was the biggest omission from the 2020 list. When you look at this year’s list, there is no way anyone can intelligently reason why he was left off.
We get it, there are plenty of Atlanta Falcons fans that don’t appreciate what Matt brings to the table or how good he is and there are plenty of young guys in the league that have stronger arms but arm strength is not all that determines how good a quarterback is.
Matt will use 2020 to show everyone that even after 12 years, he is still among the best in the game as he makes his way to Canton.