It’s no secret the Atlanta Falcons are in rebuild mode. The Falcons have an infusion of young talent at several key positions that offer hope for the future. While the talent is promising, Falcons fans will need to be patient with this young team as they develop. Where will the Falcons finish in the NFC South? Let’s take a closer look at their roster and offer a prediction for the 2023-2024 season.
To be successful in the modern NFL you need good to great quarterback play and the ability to get after the opposing teams quarterback. The Falcons have the second ingredient covered as they have recently beefed up their defensive line. Grady Jarrett, who was named one of the biggest draft steals in the last 10 years, is the clear leader on this stout D-line. At age 30, Jarrett is showing no signs of slowing down. He finished last season with 6 sacks and 17 quarterback hits. The Falcons brought in Calais Campbell this offseason to team with Jarrett. Campbell is coming off an impressive year where he had 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. These two defensive stalwarts will be a tough duo to stop.
In today’s NFL, it’s never a good idea to draft a running back in the top 10 unless that running back is Bijan Robinson. Robinson has all the tools to make him an elite NFL weapon. He will instantly upgrade the Falcons offense and his versatility will allow him to be on the field in any situation. You can expect Robinson to be heavily utilized for a team that is shaky at the quarterback position. Robinson is my early favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
As we’ve mentioned before the Falcons quarterback situation is shaky at best. Desmond Ridder will most likely be the week 1 starter but how long will he last? Ridder was dead last in our NFL quarterback tiers for 2023 and will need to show he can be more than a game manager. The Falcons brought in career backup Taylor Heinicke as a security blanket in case Ridder falters. Heinicke has shown he can be more than serviceable if called upon. My hunch is that we will be seeing Heinicke at some point this season.
The Falcons have two excellent young receiving threats in Drake London and Kyle Pitts. They have shown they can be a problem for opposing defenses. With that said the Falcons probably have one of the weakest wide receiver groups in the NFL. Outside of London they are all unproven or have failed at previous stops (see JJ Arcega-Whiteside). The combo of an unproven quarterback and lack of talent at the receiver position doesn’t bode well for the Falcons offense. I would’ve liked to see the Falcons address this position more in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Ultimately, the Falcons defense is good enough to keep them in most games but the offense will struggle this season. Outside of the weak NFC South, it’s hard to see many wins on their schedule. This will be another year where Atlanta misses the playoffs however the future is bright. I expect the Falcons to address the quarterback position next offseason while they keep building around their young core.
2023 Record: 6-11