Many believe that the Falcons had one of the best drafts in the NFL, and many of their picks will have to play a big role in their rookie seasons. Let’s take a look as I predict the final stat lines of every Falcons rookie.
Vic Beasley, DE/OLB
6.5 sacks, 29 tackles (12 Ast), 1 FF, 1 INT
Vic Beasley will immediately fill in as a starter for the Falcons, and he will play the LEO linebacker position. He will play a role similar to the way Bruce Irvin plays for Seattle. These numbers aren’t mind blowing, but Beasley will play a bigger impact than the stat sheet will show. He will look to fix the Falcons’ biggest weakness, pressuring the opposing QB. Beasley predicted double-digit sacks in his rookie season, but he will need a lot of help from his teammates. I think Beasley will get a lot of double teams as a rookie which will limit his stats, but he will play a huge role on the Falcons defense.
Jalen Collins, CB
30 tackles (4 AST), 3 INT , 0 FF
Many think that Jalen Collins may line up opposite of Desmond Trufant and that Robert Alford will shift to the nickel, but I think Collins is going to have to earn this spot. I see Collins getting playing time throughout the year, but not starting until later in the season. I predict that due to Collins’ size, he is the starter by the end of the season with all of the tall WR’s in the NFC South such as Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin.
Tevin Coleman, RB
207 Att, 784 yards, 3.8 YPC, 7 rush TDs, 27 receptions, 235 yards, 1 TD
Tevin Coleman will share touches with Devonta Freeman to start the year, but I think he will slowly but surely win the starting gig by the end of year one. I think Coleman will have a good year overall, but his statistics may be hampered a bit by an offensive line that could be a weakness for Atlanta in 2015. If the boys in the trenches can adjust and thrive in the ZBS, Coleman could be in for a bigger year than many expect.
Justin Hardy, WR
25 receptions, 270 yards, 3 TDs
Justin Hardy has a bright future with the Falcons and was a great pick in the 4th round. That being said, he will still have to compete with Devin Hester and Leonard Hankerson for touches this season. I think Hardy will see the field in every game, but his role will likely be limited as a rookie.
Grady Jarrett, DT
10 tackles (5 Ast), 1.5 sacks, 1 FF
Grady Jarrett was one of the steals of the draft in the fifth round. While he has a bright future in Atlanta, he may not see the field much as a rookie with Soliai, Babineaux, and Hageman ahead of him. I see Jarrett getting to play a handful of snaps in his rookie campaign. He will likely play a bigger role in his sophomore season.
Jake Rodgers, OT
Rodgers is unlikely to see the field in his rookie season.
Akeem King, CB
Like Rodgers, King is unlikely to play any downs in 2015.