The Atlanta Falcons will no doubt require many players to step up if the team wants a chance to compete. This may come down to the rookies making a bigger splash than many predict.
The Atlanta Falcons have to prove to the NFL world that they can play like a team, unlike last season. Last year they were either dominating on offense or they were dominating on defense, but rarely did both of those happen in the same game.
This is why the coaching staff needs to emphasize that as the key to winning.
Even if that happens, like said before, the team will need to have numerous players, including rookies to come out and play like they can from the first snap.
Here is a prediction for the Atlanta Falcons rookie superlative awards for the 2021 season:
Rookie MVP: Kyle Pitts
No surprise for the Atlanta Falcons here. Kyle Pitts will be the most valuable rookie at the end of the year. He is coming into an ideal situation after he put up one of them, if not the best seasons by a tight end in college football history. He was absurdly dominant every week
He now comes to a team that just lost the most physically dominant wide receivers over the past decade, and if there is anyone who can replace that, it is Kyle Pitts.
In fact, it would not be a big shock for him to be the team MVP when the season is done.
Rookie surprise: Avery Williams
Of course many expect Kyle Pitts to be the Atlanta Falcons best rookie, so that would not be a surprise. What would be is Avery Williams having a big impact on the team.
For Avery Williams to be the biggest surprise, it will require him to win the punt returner spot and have a bigger impact as a “joker” player than many people are expecting. Head coach Arthur Smith has already said that Williams may be playing in multiple different positions, including on offense.
Look for Avery Williams to make a bigger impact than most fifth-round rookies.
Rookie disappointment: Jalen Mayfield
This comes down to the fact that many want or expect Jalen Mayfield to win the starting left guard spot for the Atlanta Falcons, and if he does not, that may make him a disappointment for this year.
There have been rumors that Josh Andrews is the favorite to start at left guard. While it is hard to fully believe that before training camp even starts if Andrews does end up starting, that will be disappointing for Jalen Mayfield’s rookie year.
He has the playing strength to play in the NFL, it will just come down to if he can adjust to playing right guard and develop his technique overall.
Hopefully, this is wrong, as the potential that Jalen Mayfield has is certainly much higher than Josh Andrews.
Most snaps: Richie Grant
Richie Grant is the most talented safety on the Atlanta Falcons roster.
With all the turnover that has taken place over the offseason at the safety position, Richie Grant may be counted on the most in the safeties room.
Richie Grant has a chance to play the most snaps if either one of the drafted offensive linemen does not end up starting for the Falcons.
Kyle Pitts is certainly another option to play the most snaps but expect Arthur Smith to give him snaps off every once in a while – much like Julio Jones did in the past couple of years.
Most impactful UDFA: Jaylinn Hawkins
Jaylinn Hawkins is in the best situation an undrafted free agent could ever be in.
There really is not a guy like him in the running back room, thus he is unique and a valuable asset. He may be asked to come in and provide a much different playing style than Mike Davis does. Hawkins has a very high chance to make the Atlanta Falcons roster, and even provide a lot for the team.