Beginning today, I will break down every position on the Falcons roster heading into the season. We will start with quarterbacks and the rest of the offense before discussing the defense. The Falcons situation under center may be a rather vanilla topic, but several positions are much more competitive or incomplete. So let’s begin.
Not much has to be said about Matt Ryan. He remains one of the most underrated players in football and is still a top 10 quarterback in the game. He’s a lock for 4,000 yards passing each season, and this might be the best position he’s been in since his historic 2016 campaign. The offensive line looks to be in much better shape than it has been; the Falcons, as always, are loaded at receiver; and Todd Gurley should add much more explosiveness to the running game, keeping defenses honest. However, this offense will only go as far as Ryan takes it. If he happens to suffer an injury, time to start looking forward to 2021.
The Backup Situation
The Falcons brought back Matt Schaub, and while several fans were hoping for the team to cut him, saving $2 million against the cap, he remains the overwhelming favorite to be the backup in 2020. Schaub appeared in six games for Atlanta last season, starting one of them, and performed very well. He threw for 580 yards, three touchdowns, and only one interception. In his one start, Schaub had 52 passing attempts for 460 yards against a pretty good Seahawks defense. The Falcons don’t have the roster to make a Super Bowl run with him under center, but as far as backups go, he’s one of the best in the league.
If there’s a quarterback that is going to challenge Schaub, it’s Kurt Benkert. He looked promising in the preseason last year before being placed on Injured Reserve. However, he’s still pretty far behind Schaub — as far as development — and is going to have to show a lot for the Falcons to move on with him as their only backup.
The other quarterback in the room is Danny Etling. He’s a pretty good athlete and possibly could be used as a jack-of-all-trades piece — like a poor man’s Taysom Hill. But as far as the backup quarterback role goes, he’s a longshot to make the roster. There would have to be several injuries, and even then, the Falcons would probably find a body off the streets before letting Etling assume the job.