3. Mykal Walker
With a big season, Mykal Walker could be the next Atlanta linebacker to get paid following in the steps of Deion Jones or Foye. Walker waited a long time to have a starting opportunity and was given that chance in the 2022 season with mixed results.
Now with Rashaan Evans gone and second-year linebacker Troy Andersen starting alongside him, this is the season that should define Walker's career. A great season forces Atlanta to make a tough decision while a failure to develop further than the player we saw last season likely means the Falcons move on.
Arthur Smith's Atlanta defense has a lot of great long-term pieces with the one obvious position in question being a linebacker. Atlanta moved on from Deion Jones and Rashaan Evans over the last two seasons despite not having a clear answer.
It seemed Rashaan was viewed simply as a bridge starter while the issues with Deion Jones were less clear. What is definite, however, is that this season is a defining one for Walker's career and could present a difficult decision for Atlanta heading into the 2024 season.