We are officially into the second week of the college football season with the Atlanta Falcons kicking off their season tomorrow. Atlanta is heading into a season that is expected to end with the team holding a top-five first-round pick and a great chance to add an impact player. While I believe this team has a much higher ceiling than most it is only fair to point out that if things don’t work in Atlanta’s favor quickly this season has a chance to end with Atlanta holding the first overall pick.
The level of variance that this Atlanta Falcons season could have speaks both to the promise of the young players on the roster and the lack of proven contributors the team has acquired. Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder are perfect examples of this. Two quarterbacks who have shown a lot of promise throughout camp and the preseason, however, would anyone really be shocked if Mariota and Ridder struggled mightily this season?
For the Falcons this is a season about finding out who wants to be a part of this team long-term and continuing to establish a new culture. One that isn’t content with mediocrity or comfortable regardless of their role.
It is a promising mentality but still one that could end with Atlanta well inside the top five. With this in mind, let’s take a look at three players, in particular, Atlanta should be watching closely this week.