The Falcons’ new regime’s first draft class is closing in on the conclusion of their rookie seasons, and the 2021 class has had mixed results. Kyle Pitts has broken multiple records and is looking to unseat Mike Ditka for the most receiving yards by a rookie tight end in NFL history. Not to mention, the former fourth overall pick was selected to the Pro Bowl, becoming the first rookie tight end to do so since Jeremy Shockey in 2002.
The Falcons second-round pick, Richie Grant, was likely a disappointment for most fans, but in reality, he never really got on the field other than special teams. For a rookie in a complex defensive scheme, Grant’s rookie year shouldn’t be considered a failure. He’s got incredible physical gifts and just needs to mentally catch up at the professional level.
Though selected after Pitts and Grant, Jalen Mayfield played more snaps than any other member of this class. Largely, he was terrible. It is difficult for any rookie to come in and make an immediate impact, but Mayfield was absolutely atrocious. He could use development in all areas — mentally and physically.
The rest of the class — Drew Dalman, Darren Hall, Avery Williams, Ta’Quon Graham, Ade Ogundeji, and Frank Darby — played very little in rotational roles. This year, Williams was a special teams ace for the Falcons and looks to be a future stalwart in the third phase. Hall, Graham, and Ogundeji played supplemental roles and should be in line for more snaps next season as they continue to develop.
Hear from Grant, Hall, Graham, and their coordinator Dean Pees on how their rookie seasons went.
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