Falcons rookie most likely to break out according to NFL Network

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The Falcons will rely on their rookies more than most teams in 2022. Atlanta took five players in the first three rounds and eight total, but the one most likely to break out is fifth-round pick Tyler Allgeier, according to Steve Wyche of NFL Network.

Wyche points out something I’ve touched on in the past — using Cordarelle Patterson more as a receiver.

The Falcons can lean heavily on Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson in the passing game, especially if Atlanta selects an immediate contributing running back to lighten Patterson’s load as a runner.

“Appreciate what CP did for us last year [and] what he’s gonna do for us in the future,” Arthur Smith said, “He’s gonna move around at a lot of spots.”

The Falcons re-signed Patterson to a very palatable two-year deal worth $10.5 million. He’s vital to Smith’s offense and gives Atlanta a versatile chess piece. Outside of Pitts, he was the only consistent weapon last season. Patterson set career highs in receiving, rushing, and total touchdowns — 618 rushing yards (4.0 YPC), six rushing touchdowns, 548 receiving yards (10.5 YPR) and five receiving touchdowns. He is a fan favorite, and the Falcons got him back on a very reasonable deal.

Patterson will obviously be a big part of the Falcons’ offense in 2023, but his usage will depend on what Atlanta needs from him. He can be more pass-centric if the Falcons can find a productive rusher to pair with Mike Davis. Obviously, Patterson is still valuable as a runner, but the roster may dictate him to be more of a receiver in 2022.

That was written before the team moved on from Mike Davis and drafted Drake London, but the point still remains. The Falcons drafted an immediate contributor in Allgeier to take a bulk of the carries out of the backfield, while Patterson assumes more of a mercenary-like role on offense; wherever Atlanta needs him at a particular instance is where the veteran will be deployed.

Allgeier is a massive reason why the Falcons will be able to save Patterson’s legs for those specific situations — third downs, red zone, etc. The BYU product will more than likely take much of the early-down opportunities to again save Patterson’s body.

Falcons fifth-round pick Tyler Allgeier dominated the 2021 season at Brigham Young, picking up 1,601 rushing yards on 276 attempts. That works out to be an elite 5.8 yards per carry, and the California native also reached the end zone 23 times. He has unbelievable field vision, allowing him to find holes, which is imperative for a running back in Arthur Smith’s offense.

He also has a high football IQ and an exceptional feel for the game to go along with his physical gifts. He’s a tank on the field and bounces off defenders like a bowling ball. Allgeier may not be the fastest running back, logging a 4.6 40-yard dash, but the 22-year-old is quick enough to break away from most defenders in the open field.

The Falcons are trying to change their identity from a soft team to a hard-nose, run-first offense. Falcons fifth-round pick Tyler Allgeier is another step in that direction and is set to have a breakout campaign as a rookie, as Wyche points out; however, the offensive line, much like last year, will continue to hold this group back.

Photographer: Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire

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