Malliciah Goodman is used to adversity. The Clemson product was described as an underachiever prior to the 2013 NFL Draft. His critics said he lacked elite speed and athleticism, making him no more than a rotational guy. Basically they knocked his motor, or troubling lack thereof.
In his first year as a professional, Goodman played 305 snaps. He rated negatively as a pass rusher, -6.3 or 31/52 4-3 DEs who played at least 25 percent of their team's defensive snaps. He rated positively as a run defender, 3.9 or 24/52 4-3 DEs who played at least 25 percent of their team's defensive snaps (one spot ahead of Osi Umenyiora and two spots ahead of Jonathan Massaquoi). Given his run blocking prowess, it's no surprise the Falcons asked him to put on some weight this off-season.
Going forward, Goodman's role seems clear. He will see about 200 snaps playing DE in the Falcons' new 3-4 defensive front. Combine his run blocking chops with the 20+ pounds he's added to his frame and the guy could do some real damage.
He's not going to rack up sacks, and the Falcons never expected him to, not even when they drafted him. He won't be the starter, but he doesn't have to be. All they need him to do is spot Tyson Jackson at the 5 technique and capably occupy a couple blockers on a semi-regular basis. If he does that, he's worth the fourth round draft pick the Falcons used to draft him. Heck, you might even call him an important role player.
Don't sleep on Goodman. He's an important part of the Falcons' defense. He's not the flashy DE most people prefer to watch, but he's plenty capable.