PFF’s top graded Falcons all on rookie deals

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The Falcons have a slew of promising young players on the roster. Obviously, an influx of more talent is necessary, but there are pieces worth building around. Atlanta is rebuilding, even if the people inside the building refuse to use that terminology.

The team sits with the second-most dead money in the league, which includes Matt Ryan‘s record-breaking dead cap figure. Terry Fontenot has been working with one arm tied behind his back, so the Falcons’ younger players are critical to the team’s success.

Surprisingly enough, PFF’s top-three highest-graded Falcons are all currently on their rookie deals.

Lindstrom is quickly becoming one of the team’s best players, in the same conversation as Grady Jarrett and A.J. Terrell. He’s dominant in the run game at times, displaying impressive athleticism for his size. The Falcons have exercised his fifth-year option, so Lindstrom is under team control until at least the 2024 offseason, but the front office will surely be looking to extend the former first-round pick.

London being among the highest-graded Falcons isn’t surprising. He consistently makes tough catches in traffic, creates yards after the catch, and blocks as hard as he runs his routes. The rookie first-rounder isn’t seeing nearly the amount of targets as some other rookie pass catchers because his quarterback is incapable of throwing the ball, but London is making the most out of the situation.

The USC product ranks in the bottom ten of pass catchers with the highest off-target rates (19%), and he’s one of only three in that group to have greater than a 60% catch rate. That essentially means that about one out of every five passes Marcus Mariota throws to London are off-target, yet the rookie still catches three out of five targets.

Darren Hall being on this list is a bit stunning. After being trusted into the starting lineup due to injuries to A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward, the former fourth-rounder has undoubtedly made the most of his opportunity. According to Pro Football Reference, Hall has been targeted 14 times and given up ten receptions for 159 yards and one touchdown in four starts. However, half of those targets, six of those completions, 94 of those yards, and the score came against Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Outside of that thrashing, Hall has been solid considering the circumstances.

Photographer: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire

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