The Falcons have been one of the oldest teams in the league in recent years, but last season, things began to change. Atlanta boasted the 13th youngest roster in 2021 after being the oldest roster in 2020, the 5th oldest in 2019, the 2nd oldest in 2018, and the 9th oldest in 2017. Obviously, we know why the Falcons were consistently one of the older teams — Arthur Blank’s frustrating desire to cling to relevancy, forcing Thomas Dimitroff to continue to extend and restructure aging veterans.
It wasn’t the recipe for success, and now, the team is moving in a different direction. In the infant stages of a rebuild, the Falcons are getting younger and younger by the day. And after the draft this weekend, they’ll get even greener. As it currently stands, the average age of Atlanta’s roster is 25.8-years-old.
The Falcons, with the 13th youngest roster last season, had an average age of 25.9-years-old. So, Atlanta will undoubtedly be even younger in 2022. The only veterans who will have significant contributions this season are Grady Jarrett, Casey Hayward, Erik Harris, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Jake Matthews — a stark difference from the Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Alex Mack days.
The Falcons are trying to improve their personnel, but they’re also trying to get younger. And it’s the right approach. The Falcons are building the foundation to field a consistently competitive roster, and the only way to do that is through the draft. Even though the 2021 rookie class was underwhelming outside of Kyle Pitts, the new regime is hopeful those second-year players will contribute in a big way in 2022. However, it’s not just them. The Falcons will heavily rely on the 2022 rookie class, too, as Arthur Smith stated in Tuesday’s pre-draft press conference.
"Those draft picks, whether they're ready or not, they'll have to play. I think you saw that last year." Arthur Smith said the way the roster is constructed right now puts more responsibility on the '21 and '22 rookie classes.
— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) April 26, 2022
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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