It’s that time of the year when players are reporting to their respective training camps, and the Falcons are flocking to Flowery Branch. Another annual tradition is the Top 100 player rankings voted on by the players. In the first installment, our first Dirty Bird is only an honorable mention. Cordarrelle Patterson just missed out as the 109th-best player according to his peers.
The 10 NFL players that nearly made the top 100 this year but just missed, via @NFLFilms
110) #Seahawks S Quandre Diggs
109) #Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson
108) #Titans S Kevin Byard
107) #Eagles CB James Bradberry
106) #Browns OL Joel Bitonio
105) #Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson… https://t.co/Hy25fv7rS7
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) July 25, 2023
The kick return legend has completely revitalized his career. In 2021, Patterson set career marks in several metrics in the first full-time role of his illustrious time in the league — total touches, yards from scrimmage, receiving and rushing touchdowns, rush attempts and yards, receptions and receiving yards.
He deserved some sort of national recognition for his efforts but playing on a bad team handicapped him. His role changed in 2022, though. He once again set career highs in rushing yards and touchdowns but his opportunities as a pass catcher were cut in half. Patterson was still productive, but Tyler Allgeier eventually established himself as the lead back by season’s end.
Falcons fans can expect Cordarrelle Patterson to revert to his 2021 role with Bijan Robinson and Allgeier in the fold. Moreover, the presence of two bell cows will benefit Patterson’s health. He’s missed time in each of his two seasons with the Falcons, which isn’t crazy considering he’s on the wrong side of 30 and taking more punishment than ever before. Longevity should be the goal for the Falcons and Patterson.
The offense is going to look much different in 2023 under Arthur Smith. Expect Patterson to have a significant role but not as a traditional running back.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire