Falcons completely disrespected in PFF pre-draft power rankings


The Falcons finished the 2023 season in the same position they had in the two seasons prior under Arthur Smith — 7-10 with the 8th overall pick.

It was another mediocre campaign, and it cost Smith his job. This offseason has been a whirlwind for Atlanta. There’s been ups and downs, but it’s been headlined by Kirk Cousins.

Arthur Blank ultimately decided against Bill Belichick and 12 other candidates in favor of Raheem Morris. The new regime’s first task? Find a quarterback.

The Falcons went out and got the best option available, inking Cousins to a $180 million free agent deal. It immediately made Atlanta the odds-on favorite to win the NFC South.

It’s not hard to see why either. The Falcons split the season series with the Saints and Buccaneers, despite having much worse quarterback player compared to those teams.

It’s a move that’s made them contenders in a wide open NFC, but Pro Football Focus doesn’t see it that way. PFF released their pre-draft power rankings and completely disrespected the Falcons, ranking the Dirty Birds 22nd in the NFL and outside of the top 10 in the conference.


  • Biggest loss (PFF WAR): QB Desmond Ridder (0.31 WAR)
  • Biggest gain (PFF WAR): QB Kirk Cousins (1.94 WAR)

The Falcons added a new franchise quarterback and wide receivers Darnell Mooney, Ray-Ray McCloud III and Rondale Moore. They have the makings of a very fun offense, but they’ll need to add talent to the defensive side of the ball in the draft.

This is a pre-draft ranking, so the draft shouldn’t be considered. The Bears, Saints, and Vikings were ranked ahead of the Falcons for what reason exactly? Chicago and Minnesota, at this point, have far worse quarterback situations, and New Orleans’ overall roster is inferior to Atlanta’s.

The Falcons defense needs to be the focal point for the rest of the offseason. If there’s a weak facet of this club, it’s Jimmy Lake’s unit. To no fault of his own, Lake is taking over a less talented group than a year ago.

Even still, the upgrade at the quarterback position is significant enough that what’s happening on the other side of the ball shouldn’t matter to PFF. Cousins is head and shoulders better than Desmond Ridder, who was the single biggest factor in Atlanta’s shortcomings last year.

The Falcons are expected to make the postseason, but this rankings suggest they’ll miss them for a seventh consecutive season.

Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

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