Who is the most overrated player on the Falcons?
By: Jake Rajala
The Atlanta Falcons have witnessed an impressive performance from Marcus Mariota this off-season thus far. I trust in the former Oregon Duck to have the keys to the offense and pour it on the field in the 2022 season. With that said, I’m going to untwine three players on the new-look Falcons squad that have been underachieving and need to help the Mariota-led team improve in the 2022 season.
The Falcons explosive LB Deion Jones will miss the rest of the off-season, but he still needs to remain focused. The well-paid LB took a step back in 2021 – after having an impressive 2020 season (106 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 2 ints). Falcons Wire suggested that Jones could be a trade candidate and Nick Halden from Blogging Dirty believes the Falcons should cut ties with the veteran LB. If Jones doesn’t improve during the 2022 season, it’s safe to say he won’t be a part of their 2023 picture.
Jake hasn’t lived up to his family’s name in the NFL as of late. Per PFF, he earned an 71.3 grade last season – which was his lowest grade since 2016. It’s safe to say he didn’t bounce back from his 2021 season – which resulted in an 75.5 grade by PFF. Matthews signed a monster contract extension that will pay him more than $18 million a season this off-season and he really needs to return to being a force at LT.
It’s clear that the Falcons hold three high-paid players that weren’t superb in 2021 – as Grady Jarrett is the cherry on top of this list. Jarrett made the Pro Bowl in 2019 and 2020, but he surely wasn’t a wrecking ball last season (1 sack, 12 QB hits, 3 TFLs). Jarrett also signed hefty contract extension worth $51 (with $34.5 million guaranteed) over three years. It’s time for him to be a star on a Falcons DL that it isn’t exactly well-rounded.