The Falcons haven’t had a ton of success drafting and developing since the new regime took over.
A decent portion of Atlanta’s 2021 draft class has dissipated. Most notably, Jalen Mayfield, a third-round pick, was released this offseason. Darren Hall, a fifth-round pick, also parted ways with the Falcons this offseason.
The 2022 draft class is also not exactly developing at the rate many had hoped, and the pair of second-round picks are undoubtedly the biggest disappointments to this point.
Troy Andersen‘s injury shouldn’t be held against him, but it sets him back. Who knows how the delay in his development; however, Arnold Ebiketie‘s career has certainly not been what fans, the team, or he hoped even more so.
What makes matters worse? Tori McElhaney of the Falcons media team tweeted some concerning information, letting us know that Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone, a third-round pick from last year’s draft class, have been working with the off-ball linebackers in individuals, rather than the defensive front.
Something I have found interesting in recent weeks and have failed to make note of is that Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone work with the ILBs in individual position drills, not with the defensive front. They split off to 7-on-7 coverage drills with the DBs/ILBs, too.
— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) October 13, 2023
It’s a terrible look for the Falcons to practically waste a premium draft pick like this, and without being too overreactive, I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest an Arnold Ebiketie trade could be on the horizon.
Unless Nielsen changes his scheme, which isn’t on the table, Ebiketie doesn’t have an obvious role on the defense, unless he bulks up significantly. That’s probably not ideal for his play style and body type.
It’s a difficult situation but isn’t one I see working itself out. The worst case scenario is watching him go and succeed with another club where his skill set fits better; it might become a reality, though.
Photographer: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire