The Falcons don’t have a storied history like some franchises. Hell, the club only features four players in the Hall of Fame, has never won a Super Bowl, and has mostly been a laughingstock outside of the Matt Ryan years and the 1998 team that went to the organization’s first Super Bowl.
However, there are some diamonds in the rough. One being Julio Jones, who is undoubtedly a first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the greatest receivers this league has ever seen. Moreover, Chris Lindstrom is an ascending talent and is now the highest-paid guard in the league.
I bring up these two individuals because the pair is featured on Pro Football Focus’s highest-graded players from every position team — Jones’s 2016 campaign and Lindstrom’s 2022 season.
The former Falcons legend and future Hall of Famer has been one of the most dominant forces on the outside for nearly a decade. Jones not only comes away with the highest-graded season by a receiver in PFF history but also the record for most seasons earning a 90.0-plus receiving grade (five). No other receiver has more than three.
This past season, Lindstrom tied Mathis’ 95.0 offensive grade, a PFF record set back in 2013. Along with the aforementioned Trent Williams, Lindstrom and Mathis join Jonathan Ogden as the only four offensive linemen to reach a 95.0-plus offensive grade.
A lot of Falcons fans consider Matt Ryan the greatest player (or close to it) in franchise history, but his career doesn’t hold a candle to Julio Jones’s. There’s only one first-ballot Hall of Famer the club has drafted in my lifetime, and it’s the freak that is Julio Jones.
Chris Lindstrom’s 2022 campaign was a marvel, and there is still room for growth. He received the first holding call of his career last year, which was a phantom call. In our books, he’s still got a spotless record. Now, he’s locked up through the 2028 season. There’s a chance he turns into a Falcons lifer and ends up in the ring of honor with a slight chance of ending up in Canton.