The Falcons drew Will Levis last week in Nashville as the second-round pick made his NFL debut. It was supposed to be an opportunity for Atlanta’s new-look defense to flex its muscles on a struggling Tennessee offense.
Unfortunately, the reality that anyone can win on any given Sunday hit the Falcons right in the mouth. Levis tossed four touchdowns in one of the most spectacular debuts we’ve ever seen, and Arthur Smith’s club left with more questions than answers.
They’ll once again draw a rookie making his NFL debut in Week 9 as the Vikings travel south to Atlanta. Following the confirmation that Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles, Minnesota made a deal to acquire Josh Dobbs via trade from the Cardinals, but it will be fifth-round pick Jarren Hall under center on Sunday.
With Nick Mullins on the injured reserve for at least one more week, and Dobbs having less than a week to familiarize himself with the playbook, the BYU product was the only viable option.
The 25-year-old replaced Cougars legend Zach Wilson after backing up the second overall pick for two seasons in college. In his first year as the starter, Hall went 8-2 then followed it up with the best statistical season of his career, tossing 31 touchdowns and 3,171 yards. He also had 798 rushing yards and nine scores in his two seasons at BYU.
Hall got some burn in the preseason, and in his final exhibition contest, he completed 17-of-28 passing for 178 yards, with one touchdown, an interception and a passer rating of 76.2, adding 21 yards on the ground.
The Falcons can expect Jarren Hall to use his feet if the play breaks down, but there’s no reason Atlanta shouldn’t win this game. It will spark a tidal wave of questions for Arthur Smith if he can’t capitalize against a fifth-rounder making his NFL debut.