The Falcons found a gem in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft in Tyler Allgier. The BYU product broke the franchise rookie rushing record while only assuming a bulk of the carries for about half of the season. He looks primed to lead Atlanta’s backfield for years to come, and there could be another underrated prospect on the horizon for the Falcons. Here are Pro Football Focus’ top 10 most underrated prospects entering the 2023 NFL Draft that should interest Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith:
RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
RB Roschon Johnson, Texas
WR Zay Flowers, Boston College
WR Rashee Rice, SMU
TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah
EDGE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa
EDGE Zach Harrison, Ohio State
EDGE Nick Herbig, Wisconsin
LB Jack Campbell, Iowa
S Jordan Battle, Alabama
Gibbs isn’t getting the praise that Bijan Robinson is, but he’s certainly deserving. To me, he looks like a spitting image of Alvin Kamara. After transferring from Georgia Tech, Gibbs led Alabama in rushing yards (926) and receptions (44). He might not be a bruiser, but Gibbs is special. He’s going to make a team very happy.
Johnson played second fiddle to Bijan Robinson in Austin, and he will be a successful NFL player. He’s got the size — 6-foot-2, 223 pounds — to be a bell cow running back. He’s expected to run somewhere in the 4.3s at the combine; that’s an absurd combination. He’s as powerful as any runner in this class, averaging an eye-popping 4.28 yards after contact per rush. He’s not the Texas running back everyone wants, but he’s oozing with talent.
Flowers totaled over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games this season for Boston College, 500 of which came after the catch. He seems like an instant-impact guy if he’s in the right situation. The Falcons will need someone to work out of the slot, and Flowers thrives there.
Kincaid joins a loaded tight end class. Over the last two seasons, the Utah Ute hauled in 106 receptions for 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has an impressive catch radius and is just as valuable after the catch. The Falcons are going to have to add to the tight end room.
The Iowa defender actually wasn’t going to leave the Hawkeyes program until receiving feedback that he would be going in the first round. Over the last two years, Van Ness has posted 69 (nice) tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, and 12 sacks. The Falcons could use that kind of production.
He’s the quintessential football player that doesn’t physically look overly impressive but is supposedly a freak athlete. His deceptive combination of length, strength, and football IQ makes him a terror for opposing offensive linemen. During his first season at Iowa, he pretty much exclusively played along the interior, then moved to the edge, where he played very well against some of the top tackles in college football.
Zach Harrison hasn’t entirely lived up to his lofty expectations coming out of high school. Despite playing all four seasons at Ohio State, he only totaled 11 sacks. Still, few can match his physical measurements, standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 270+ pounds. His ceiling is incredibly high, but he will need time to develop. The Falcons need pass rushers wherever they can get them.
Nick Herbig doesn’t have the size of Harrison, but he’s one of the best pure pass rushers in this class, posting 11 sacks and 17 hurries during his junior season. He weighs less than 230 pounds, which could result in him falling down draft boards. He wouldn’t be an every down player for the Falcons but could be a pass rush specialist.
Jack Campbell is a massive off-ball linebacker — 6-foot-5 and 246 pounds. But he’s not just a traditional thumper; the Iowa product is excellent in coverage. Pairing Campbell with Troy Andersen will give Atlanta a formidable duo for years.
Jordan Battle isn’t Brian Branch, but he’s a great prospect. Scouts will knock his run defense, but he’s excellent in coverage. The Falcons will have to add to the safety group this offseason.