Despite the Falcons bolstering many of the weakest units on the roster, the team is still a ways away from competing in the postseason. On paper, Terry Fontenot hit a home run with the 2022 draft class. He made Drake London the highest-drafted receiver to strengthen the worst pass-catching unit in football. Then, on Day 2 of the draft, Fontenot drafted two pass rushers and the future at the most important position in the sport — quarterback.
Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone are EDGE defenders who should have an immediate impact, while it may take a bit longer for Desmond Ridder to burst onto the scene. From an initial standpoint, the class answered many questions. However, the Falcons undoubtedly got worse at signal caller. Ridder may prove to be the answer at the position, but in 2022, Matt Ryan will be head and shoulders better than Marcus Mariota or Ridder.
Ryan is the more cerebral, experienced, and accurate quarterback. But one characteristic the other two have that makes them superior is their mobility. Ryan has long been knocked for his lack of mobility, despite being an excellent pocket passer. It is one skill that Arthur Smith should be able to accentuate, regardless of which player starts this season.
In a radio interview with Andy Bunker on 92.9 The Game, Smith spoke on the subject, stating the offense will look a bit different with the mobility of the quarterbacks on the team.
“I think you’ll see us move the quarterback a little bit more…hopefully that gives us an edge.”#Falcons head coach Arthur Smith speaking with @TBM929 right now about how the offense will look different next year. pic.twitter.com/6SPXABqVGa
— Miles Garrett (@MilesGarrettTV) May 20, 2022
The Falcons’ offense will look more similar to those in Tennessee under Smith — zone rushing attack with play action rollouts built off the run. With Mariota and Ridder in Atlanta, the Falcons will continue to stress the focus of getting their passers out of the pocket. It will also give Smith the ability in short-yardage situations to use the quarterback as an additional runner, something he did sparingly last season with the far less mobile Ryan. It’ll be interesting to see what Smith can accomplish with Mariota and Ridder.