Atlanta Falcons need Patterson to take on a new role in 2023 season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons / Alex Slitz/GettyImages

The Atlanta Falcons have three great starting running back options in Cordarrelle Patterson, Bijan Robinson, and Tyler Allgeier. It is hard to argue there are any three better options on the same roster league-wide.

While Patterson will still be needed at running back Robinson is going to take the bulk of the carries giving Atlanta the chance to put Patterson in a "new" role. So often in the 2021 season, Patterson was the Atlanta offense if anything good was happening it was often because Patterson created it with a run, catch, or a return.

This elite ability didn't disappear last season despite Atlanta putting Patterson far less often out as a receiver. Now with only Drake London as a known contributor Atlanta should often put Patterson out wide and give the playmaker a chance to thrive in a new role.

Patterson is more than capable of being Atlanta's second or third option at receiver with it kept in mind Atlanta's great targets at tight-end. Patterson had 548 receiving yards only a season ago including a memorably clutch catch against the New Orleans Saints.

Atlanta has a player who has more experience at receiver than running back and clearly hasn't gone out of their way to add depth to the position. Patterson's ability and the addition of Bijan Robinson all clearly point to Patterson playing receiver far more often for Atlanta and giving the team a chance to consistently have three elite targets on the field.

The Falcons should expect an uptick in production from Jonnu Smith as well who saw his numbers drop in a bad New England offense. Smith is a far better second option than the Falcons had at receiver or tight end last season. The numbers from the last two seasons don't tell the full story of Smith's potential impact.

It is because of Smith, Patterson, and Robinson that the Falcons continue to be seemingly unconcerned about their lack of proven options at receiver. Perhaps because they know they already have an elite option in Patterson.