A closer look at Atlanta’s 2022 undrafted free agents
DL Derrick Tangelo, Penn State
Derrick Tangelo was another player the Falcons were quick to call after the NFL Draft concluded. Tangelo joins former Penn State teammate Arnold Ebiketie, who was drafted by the Falcons with the 38th overall pick.
Penn State head coach James Franklin spoke highly of Tangelo in a post from Penn State Athletics on social media, describing him as “the perfect fit for any NFL locker room.”
In his lone season with Penn State, Tangelo amassed 29 total tackles (14 solo), five and a half tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and a quarterback hit and a pass breakup.
Before transferring to Penn State, Tangelo played three seasons for the Duke Blue Devils. In three seasons and 45 games with the Blue Devils, Tangelo registered 114 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss, four and a half sacks, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two QB pressures and a pass breakup.
P Seth Vernon, Portland State
This year’s NFL Draft featured a deep punting class, highlighted by two punters being taken in the first four rounds for the first time since 2007. Shortly after the draft concluded, the Falcons elected to sign punter Seth Vernon out of Portland State in free agency.
Vernon averaged 44.9 yards per punt in 2022, with his longest punt for last season registered at 65 yards. He had 12 punts of 50+ yards with nine punts inside the 20-yard line.
During his career at Portland State, Vernon averaged 44.6 yards per punt, with almost a quarter of his career punts being over fifty yards. Portland State athletics noted in a recent article about his signing that Vernon “ranks as the second-best punter, by average, in Portland State history.”
OL Tyler Vrabel, Boston College
Tyler Vrabel, an offensive tackle from Boston College, signed with the Atlanta Falcons shortly after the NFL Draft concluded.
An All-ACC Conference honorable mention, Vrabel played all 785 offensive snaps for the Boston College Eagles at left tackle.
The former Eagle is the son of Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. Vrabel said in an interview that he wouldn’t be willing to sign his son.
With Arthur Smith serving on Mike Vrabel’s staff during his last seasons in Tennessee, it’s hard to believe there’s no connection with the Falcons signing Vrabel.
TE Leroy Watson, UTSA
Watson noted in a post on Twitter that he’s “coming home,” as he is a native of Snellville, Georgia.
Prior to playing with UTSA, Watson played for two seasons at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas.
In his final season with UTSA, Watson started 13 games and helped lead the Roadrunners to their first conference title in school history, hauling in seven receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown.
In his 37 career games with the Roadrunners, Watson racked up 25 receptions for 297 yards and two touchdowns.