The Falcons feature one of the most impressive backfields in the NFL, and by season’s end, it will be regarded as the best in the league. Bijan Robinson joins Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson as three bruising runners and two capable receivers, giving Arthur Smith three versatile horses to run defenses into the ground.
I am confident it will be one of the best units in 2023, but what about individually? Thankfully, we don’t have to guess because the fine folks over at Pro Football Focus have done it for us, giving me the opportunity to complain! PFF doesn’t include rookies in their position rankings, but only one of the other Falcons appeared.
Arthur Smith is known as a smash-mouth type of coach, which made Allgeier the perfect back for his offense last season. Allgeier is a yards-after-contact player, and his 752 yards after contact and 3.6 yards after contact average both showcased that. He should not be forgotten as a very impressive young back from the 2022 class.
First off, running back may be the position most dependent on its surrounding pieces. Great offensive lines have made average backs look good and good ones look great. That has to be understood before any critique.
I have argued that Allgeier was as good as any rookie runner before, so I will link that argument because PFF ranked Dameon Pierce 14th and Kenneth Walker 12th.
- Dameon Pierce, Hoston Texans
- Stats: 220 carries, 939 rushing yards, 30 catches, 165 receiving yards, 5 total TDs
- Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks
- Stats: 228 carries, 1,050 rushing yards, 27 catches, 165 receiving yards, 9 total TDs
- Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons
- Stats: 210 carries, 1,035 rushing yards, 16 catches, 139 receiving yards, 4 total TDs
Allgeier averaged more per touch than both, but if we aren’t considering that, then why did PFF have Breece Hall — 80 carries, 463 yards, 19 catches, 218 yards, 5 total TDs — as the 11th-ranked running back?
Allgeier should be higher on this list. Unfortunately, having to share even more of the workload with the addition of Bijan Robinson, Allgeier will continue to be underrated.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire