Pro Football Focused released their annual NFL Top 50 and to no one’s surprise, just one current player on the Atlanta Falcons roster was present on the list.
When you are coming off a 4-12 season like the Atlanta Falcons are, you are an afterthought when it comes to pre and post-season recognition and the expectations for you are so low that any level of success will shock people across the league.
According to PFF, here is what they say their Top 50 rankings are based on –
"The ranking below is a projection of what we think will happen and not necessarily a reaction to a spectacular or underwhelming 2020 season. Additionally, positional value is not considered here, so safeties, guards and even running backs have just as good a chance to rank highly as quarterbacks, who would dominate the list if positional value was heavily factored."
There is no surprise as to who is the Atlanta Falcons best player
Even if you are not paying attention to the Atlanta Falcons, Grady Jarrett being the lone player on this list should not be shocking. He is the franchise’s best player at this point and that is not debatable. According to PFF, he is the 42nd best player in the NFL entering 2021.
Of the defensive tackles in the NFL, Grady is listed as the fourth-best on this list – Aaron Donald was the top-rated player in general, Chris Jones was the 19th ranked player and second overall defensive tackle and Cam Heyward was 31st overall and the third-ranked defensive tackle.
With those rankings in mind, Grady coming in 42nd overall and as the fourth-best defensive tackle makes sense.
There were eight other players from the NFC South – five from the New Orleans Saints, two from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and one from the Carolina Panthers. Despite having the current Super Bowl champions, there are very few expectations for the division in general for 2021.
The Saints, Panthers, and Falcons will be rebuilding given the personnel changes each franchise has had to make and the Bucs bring back all 22 starters from a team that lifted the Lombardi Trophy in February.