Matt Ryan trade compensation ready for breakout season for Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons drafted DeAngelo Malone with the pick acquired from the Matt Ryan trade and he is finally ready to show his talents is year three.
Atlanta Falcons v Washington Commanders
Atlanta Falcons v Washington Commanders / G Fiume/GettyImages

In 2022, the Atlanta Falcons traded, arguably, their best player in franchise history in Matt Ryan. He was shipped to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The team would go on to use that pick on a promising edge rusher out of Western Kentucky. Coming back home to Georgia, Malone did not have the rookie season he expected and that only exacerbated in his second season.

However, thanks to a scheme change that will better utilize his profile, the third-round pick is ready for a breakout season.

DeAngelo Malone will have his best season in his third year

Seeing how few opportunities DeAngelo Malone has had through his first two seasons has been disappointing. As a rookie, he played 216 snaps but that took an absolute nosedive last year when he played one snap in weeks 8, 15, and 16—that is it.

The reason for that was the scheme. Last year's defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen primarily played a 4-3 defense which is not ideal for Malone's skillset.

Now, with Raheem Morris and Jimmy Lake taking over, he is primed to have a breakout season for Atlanta

At the college level, Malone took down the quarterback 34 times which tied him with Curtis Weaver for the sixth most in NCAA history. He was half a sack behind Will Anderson Jr. and bested college legends like Vic Beasley, Von Miller, Myles Garrett, and Chase Young.

In other words, the talent is there. To get drafted in the third round out of a smaller school like Western Kentucky, you have to make an impact on the field, and that he did.

While things haven't gone well for the former Hilltopper, that will change with his development, the scheme change, and more opportunities.

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