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4 Falcons due for big seasons the rest of the way

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These four young players are (mostly) off to fine starts, but could really kick things up a notch going forward.

Buffalo Bills v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The first four games of the Falcons’ 2017 season have featured plenty of standout performances, but not every single Falcon has gotten in on the fun. Some of them are just quietly productive, while others are getting off to relatively slow starts to their respective seasons. Given the talent base on this team, though, we hardly expect that to continue forever.

Here are four Falcons due to put up big numbers and big performances the rest of the way. In my opinion, of course.

Taylor Gabriel

I remain concerned about Gabriel’s involvement in this offense. He’s reeled in just 10 receptions on 18 targets, with the worst catch percentage of any receiver getting at least 10 targets in this offense. I’m just not 100% sure that Steve Sarkisian is going to make it a priority to feed him going forward or not.

That said, Gabriel’s talent is evident, his speed makes him dangerous, and Sark is very evidently still sorting out exactly what he wants to do with this offense. Talent should win the day, and with Mohamed Sanu potentially missing a game or two, I’m bullish on Gabriel getting in a groove, at least over the short term, against mostly ineffective Dolphins and Patriots defenses.

Grady Jarrett

Jarrett is already doing great work for these Falcons, but as I’ve alluded to, you make Pro Bowls and earn the recognition you deserve from the general public by putting up some stats. With the way Jarrett is getting into the backfield and piling up tackles for loss, it’s probably only a matter of time until he starts getting sacks and forcing fumbles.

Even if he doesn’t, count on him being one of Atlanta’s most impactful defenders the rest of the way.

Deion Jones

Jones is already humming along and playing pretty well, but as arguably the team’s most dangerous playmaker on defense, I think it’s fair to expect that we haven’t seen Jones’ best just yet. Remember that Jones had three picks and two defensive touchdowns in the 2016 regular season, and look ahead to a schedule that features luminaries like Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, and Jameis Winston, and you can see where I’m going with this.

Jones was one of the best linebackers in the entire NFL a year ago, and he should finish 2017 in much the same position, with the production to match.

Keanu Neal

Neal has not had his best start to the 2017 season—though I’d say he’s still been quite good on balance—but he also started slow a year ago. By the end of the season, we were all talking about his place in the hierarchy of great young safeties