NFL veteran has high praise for Falcons rookie

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It’s no secret that the Falcons will have to rely heavily on the youngsters in 2022. Atlanta took five players in the first three rounds of the draft, and selected eight total. The 2022 class also featured a bevy of players that should contribute considerably this season. Tyler Allgeier, in particular, could have a significant role in his first year in the league. At least one veteran has some high praise for the BYU product.

I’ve touched on this in the past but using Cordarelle Patterson more as a receiver will open up things for Allgeier to assume a prominent role in the backfield.

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.

I said that before the team moved on from Mike Davis and drafted Drake London, but the point remains. The Falcons selected 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.

At BYU, Allgeier put up 1,601 rushing yards on 276 attempts in his final season for the Cougars, which works out to an elite 5.8 yards per carry while also totaling 23 touchdowns. As Williams mentioned, he has excellent vision and patience, which should bode well for Arthur Smith’s offense. He’s a big reason why the team will be able to save Patterson’s legs for the red zone, third downs, and other gotta-have-it situations. Allgeier will more than likely take many of the early-down opportunities.

The Falcons are trying to change their identity from a soft team to a hard-nosed, run-first offense. Allgeier is another step in that direction; however, the offensive line, much like last year, will continue to hold this group back.

Photographer: Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire

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