Projecting the Falcons starting offense

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Quarterback

Matt Ryan- Nothing to see here. Matty Ice is back and ready to throw for another 4,500+ yard and 25+ touchdowns in what I expect to be the Falcons best offense since 2016.

Backup: Matt Schaub

Running Back

Todd Gurley- The only way this changes is if Todd Gurley fails his physical miserably, but from everything coming out of his circle, things are going as well as they possibly could be with his knee.

Backup: Ito Smith/Brian Hill

Wide Receivers

Julio Jones- It’s nice knowing you always have the best wide receiver in football on your side.

Calvin Ridley- The Robin to Julio will be Calvin Ridley, as he was last year. However, there is no Mohamed Sanu in the fold, and Ridley is entering his third season. This could be the year we see him take the next step.

Russell Gage- I understand the hype around Laquon Treadwell, a former first-round selection from SEC Country, but I’m not buying it. Gage is the guy who will win the WR3 role.

Backups: Laquon Treadwell, Olamide Zaccheaus, Christian Blake

Tight End

Hayden Hurst- Hurst has some massive shoes to fill with Austin Hooper departing for Cleveland. Hooper is coming off back-to-back Pro-Bowl seasons, but Hurst has a ton of talent and may be able to thrive in more of a passing system.

Backup: Jaeden Graham

Offensive Line

Jake Matthews- Matthews may be the most under-appreciated player on the Falcons. All he does is show up to work every day and protect Matt Ryan’s blind side with the best of them.

James Carpenter- Let’s not beat around the bush — James Carpenter was awful last year for Atlanta. Here’s to hoping that he’s better this go around, but this is the one spot up for grabs in Atlanta’s offense. Jamon Brown, Matt Gono, and even rookie Matt Hennessy are going to be battling to start at left guard. For now, Carpenter is my early favorite.

Alex Mack- The anchor of the offensive line, Alex Mack, is getting up there in age, but that shouldn’t worry anybody. He’s still one of the best centers in football.

Chris Lindstrom- The Falcons offense was a different machine once Lindstrom returned to the lineup for the final four weeks. They scored 24+ points in each contest on their way to four wins.

Kaleb McGary- How good this offensive line can be will depend mainly on Kaleb McGary’s performance. He showed signs of being a terrific right tackle in the NFL, but he also was abysmal in other games. They need more consistency out of him in year two.

Fullback

Keith Smith- Returning to Atlanta as the fullback is Keith Smith. The San Jose State product is entering his seventh year in the league and second with the Falcons. He should win this job uncontested. 

 

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