Who on the Falcons is most likely to make their first Pro Bowl in 2022?

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The Falcons aren’t going to scare many teams on paper. If they’re to upset a few opponents this year, it will come from some unlikely sources, including Arthur Smith and his staff out-coaching opposing staffs.

They’re rebuilding. That’s just the current situation of the team. However, they still boast several worthwhile foundational pieces on the roster. As it stands today, the roster has seven former Pro Bowlers — Cordarrelle Patterson, Kyle Pitts, Jake Matthews, Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, and Younghoe Koo. Jones is clearly not the player he once was, but the rest of those players are still producing at a very high level while Pitts hasn’t even reached his prime.

So, who on the Falcons is most likely to make the Pro Bowl for the first time? Nick Shook of NFL.com has a fairly obvious answer — AJ Terrell.

This might be the safest bet of any player on this list regardless of conference. Terrell landed atop my top 10 coverage defenders in the NFL last season, but he’s been trending toward much greater achievements since entering the league in 2020. Terrell is on the verge of becoming a household name, and if the Falcons are relevant in 2022 while Terrell continues on his upward trajectory, he should earn a trip to Las Vegas.

Terrell famously was awarded All-Pro honors last year, despite being kept off the Pro Bowl roster, but this is something I’ve covered in great detail before.

I believe the voting system is flawed to a certain extent, especially considering how much it can affect a player. Many incentives are tied up in Pro Bowl accolades; even Pro Football Hall of Fame voters consider how many Pro Bowl appearances a candidate has before inducting them into Canton. Still, it is a genius marketing approach by the NFL to give fans a chance to influence something happening in the league directly.

Terrell will headline most “Pro Bowl Snubs” articles this year, but I would argue Chris Lindstrom being left off is more criminal. However, that isn’t to say Terrell is undeserving; in fact, it is blasphemous he wasn’t named to his first Pro Bowl. He’s only allowed 23 receptions on 52 targets for 150 yards, trailing only J.C. Jackson‘s (39.6) opponent passer rating allowed among primary outside cornerbacks this season.

To compare, Marshon Lattimore has given up 47 catches on 84 targets for 804 yards with an opponent passer rating of 106.4 — almost twice what Terrell is allowing. A knock against Terrell could be that he doesn’t follow the opposing team’s WR1, while Lattimore, Jalen RamseyTrevon Diggs, and Darius Slay go all over the field. Diggs’ interception total has undoubtedly grown into quite the story this year — another reason Terrell was snubbed.

As I mentioned, Chris Lindstrom is just as deserving of Pro Bowl honors and could potentially earn the first trip to Hawaii of his career this season. Lindstrom is probably the only member of the team other than Terrell who has a shot of making it, though. Moreover, the Falcons could send two first-timers if both players produce as they did in 2021.

David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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