The Atlanta Falcons made big roster changes just two weeks before the 2021 NFL Draft which could alter their draft board.
On Thursday, the Atlanta Falcons announced that they made several changes to the running back room as they added running back/wide receiver/kick returner Cordelle Patterson and cut backup running back Ito Smith.
Cordelle Patterson has been a first or second All-Pro as a kick returner six times in the last eight seasons. At 30, he is on the backside of his career but he gives the Falcons their best special team’s weapon since Devin Hester was returning kicks.
The Atlanta Falcons will absolutely draft a running back in 2021.
Whether it will be in the first or second round, the Atlanta Falcons will certainly be drafting a running back in 2021.
The Falcons’ top three rushers – Todd Gurley, Brian Hill, and Ito Smith are now gone and not coming back. Looking back on 2020, the only running back left on this roster that carried the ball from the running back position is Tony Brooks-James who had just four yards in 2020. Quarterback Matt Ryan had 92 rushing yards in 2020.
Mike Davis is going to look to build off of his highly productive 2020 in Charlotte where he had to carry the load for the Panthers. If he is able to be that productive in Atlanta, it will go a long way in helping Matt Ryan and offense be more balanced and less predictable than they have been over the last four years – especially now that he is the elder statesmen in the Falcons running back room.
The good news for the Atlanta Falcons is the 2021 NFL Draft is loaded with very good running backs in the top three rounds.
Travis Etienne, Najee Harris, Javonte Williams, Michael Carter, Kenny Gainwell, Kylin Hill, and Trey Sermon are all guys that will be available to general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith to draft in rounds one, two, and three.