Falcons who benefit the most from Kirk Cousins’ signing

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The Falcons have experienced the biggest turnaround at the quarterback position this offseason. Going from Desmond Ridder to Kirk Cousins might be one of the most dramatic changes in recent history.

No, Cousins isn’t some first-ballot Hall of Famer, but did you see what Ridder did last year? Cousins might as well be Tom Brady compared to what the Falcons got from the position last year.

There should be a lot of happy people in Flowery Branch with the change. Obviously, Arthur Blank and Terry Fontenot should benefit, but who stands to benefit the most on the field?

The entire defense

Ridder threw 12 interceptions and lost seven fumbles to rank fifth among all quarterbacks with 19 turnovers in 2023, but he only started 13 games and led the league in red zone turnovers. The Falcons lost several games directly from his mistakes in the red zone.

Nobody put the Falcons defense in a worse position than Desmond Ridder. Jessie Bates, Kaden Elliss, A.J. Terrell, David Onyemata, Grady Jarrett, and the rest of the defense have to be happy they’ll have a quarterback that can take care of the football.

Bijan Robinson

A running back shouldn’t benefit dramatically from a quarterback change, right? After all, Bijan Robinson just had to take the ball from Desmond Ridder and do the rest. Wrong. Ridder was off-target more than he should’ve been, especially in the red area. Remember this play?

Bijan Robinson won’t benefit more than the next two Falcons, but he’s still got to be happy with Kirk Cousins.

Kyle Pitts

You knew who the last two were. Kyle Pitts went from Matt Ryan in the twilight years of his career to Marcus Mariota to Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke. Kirk Cousins is probably a godsend for the former first-round pick.

Pitts eclipsed 1,000 yards his rookie year en route to multiple league and franchise records as well as a Pro Bowl bid. However, inconsistent quarterback play and a knee injury allowed some to forget just how special the Unicorn can be. Pitts led the entire league in ‘off-target’ rate, an indication of just how poor his circumstances were.

Now, healthy and with a better passer, Pitts is primed to remind the NFL world he’s one of the best tight ends in the game.

Drake London

The Falcons 8th overall pick from the 2022 NFL Draft stands to benefit more than anyone because Kirk Cousins loves his WR1. (Prime) Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Justin Jefferson… that’s the kind of company Drake London will soon find himself in.

The Falcons made London the highest-drafted receiver in his class, but everyone considers Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave to be the best wideouts of that class. London just hasn’t been given the opportunity. The Falcons pass catcher will soon establish himself among the elite players in the league.

London managed to put up 905 yards on just 69 receptions out of 110 targets. The low catch rate isn’t indicative of the former USC star but rather a reflection of the terrible quarterback play he dealt with, similar to Pitts.

I would be targeting London and Pitts in fantasy leagues if I were you.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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