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Complete 2019 Falcons snap counts

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A quick breakdown of how much every Falcon played in 2019, with what that might mean for 2020.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Players who are either already gone or are impending free agents are bolded.

Offense

Jake Matthews: 1163 (99.57%)

Alex Mack: 1156

Kaleb McGary: 1105

Matt Ryan: 1065

Julio Jones: 812

Austin Hooper: 724

Calvin Ridley: 712

Wes Schweitzer: 697

James Carpenter: 675

Devonta Freeman: 658

Jamon Brown: 587

Russell Gage: 516

Luke Stocker: 436

Mohamed Sanu: 379

Christian Blake: 337

Chris Lindstrom:309

Brian Hill: 235

Jaeden Graham: 208

Justin Hardy: 197

Keith Smith: 196

Ito Smith: 149

Matt Schaub: 99

Ty Sambrailo: 96

Olamide Zaccheaus: 87

Kenjon Barner: 65

Qadree Ollison: 56

Matt Gono: 40

Carson Meier: 26

John Wetzel: 18

Sean Harlow: 1


Matthews and Mack continue to be models of durability and quality play, even if some find that hard to believe. Both played 99%+ of the offensive snaps this year, and Matthews graded out as the 9th-best tackle and Mack as the 8th-best center in the entire NFL. If the team plans to bring Mack back in 2020 and Lindstrom and McGary can take strides forward, you can see why Thomas Dimitroff might believe this line is in much better shape than it was a year ago. McGary at the very least took his lumps and wound up playing most of the snaps this year, and the flashes of great play against guys like Cameron Jordan offers something to build on.

The major contributors this year who may not be back next year are Hooper and Schweitzer. Hooper put together another terrific season marred only by injury, and he figures to be a top priority for Atlanta. Schweitzer’s return probably depends on whether he can get an offer to start elsewhere—don’t laugh—and what the Falcons plan to do with Jamon Brown and James Carpenter in the offseason. He was last a planned starter in 2017, but he continues to get a ton of snaps due to injury and ineffectiveness, and wound up taking nearly 60% of the offense’s snaps this year. To compare, Carpenter and Brown played 58% and 50%, respectively.

Gage was a big beneficiary of Mohamed Sanu’s trade, and is a player to watch closely next year. His special teams snaps were limited as he took on a larger role on offense, but ideally the Falcons would balance that out next year by adding another receiver in the draft to compete with him for #3 duties. He showed a willingness to absorb contact on contested catches over the middle, good footwork and improved route running, and quality hands, which should give him a role next year regardless of what the Falcons add at the position. Beyond that not much is certain, as Christian Blake wound up getting nearly 30% of the offensive snaps with 11 receptions to show for it and Olamide Zaccheaus only got 7% of the snaps on the year to showcase his speed.

Running back is an interesting position to consider, as well. Freeman outsnapped Brian Hill and Ito Smith by a nearly 2:1 margin and Qadree Ollison barely got any work, so if the team is moving on from Free to save cap space, they wouldn’t appear to have a clear-cut lead back on the roster today.

Finally, one quick, obvious note: Having Lindstrom play most or all of the offensive snaps in 2020 is going to be a massive difference maker for this offense overall. It may be the single best reason to feel optimistic that this side of the ball will improve, in fact, given that he only got about 1/5th of the snaps in 2019 and played well in them.

Defense

Ricardo Allen: 950 (91.26%)

Deion Jones: 948

Isaiah Oliver: 926

De’Vondre Campbell: 923

Grady Jarrett: 806

Damontae Kazee: 803

Vic Beasley: 757

Kendall Sheffield: 699

Tyeler Davison: 562

Takk McKinley: 546

Desmond Trufant: 521

Allen Bailey: 513

Adrian Clayborn: 439

Jack Crawford: 432

Blidi Wreh-Wilson: 335

Foye Oluokun: 310

Kemal Ishmael: 282

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner: 186

Keanu Neal: 166

Jamal Carter: 105

John Cominsky: 100

Jordan Miller: 24

Johnathan Cyprien: 24

Deadrin Senat: 20

Jamar Taylor: 20

Sharrod Neasman: 11

Jermaine Grace: 6

Russell Gage: 2

Duke Riley: 1


The defense is quietly on the verge of a significant overhaul if the Falcons don’t bring back a majority of their free agents. De’Vondre Campbell is the headliner here because he played nearly 89% of defensive snaps, picked up his performance a ton in the second half, and happens to play at one of the thinnest positions on the defense. Foye Oluokun has a ton of promise and is the logical candidate if the team does move on, but that leaves them with zero depth, and I expect them to make a strong push to bring Campbell back.

The majority of defensive line snaps are also up in the air. Vic Beasley’s second half surge is likely going to price him out of Atlanta’s range, while Davison, Clayborn and Crawford are all going to command decent contracts as quality veteran contributors. The Falcons can replace some of those snaps with Deadrin Senat, John Cominsky, and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, given that all three played well in limited snaps, but it’s obvious they’re not going to thrust all three into major roles next year. Only Takk and Grady Jarrett are sure things as far as starters go, and we’ll see to what extent this team wants to remake a pretty good line.

The secondary is much more set, and Isaiah Oliver took the lumps this year that I was hoping he’d take back in 2018, which should make him a better player in 2020. The team’s safety depth is questionable at the moment with Keanu Neal working back from injury, but the Falcons may well just go out and re-sign J.J. Wilcox, a player they reportedly liked a great deal before his injury cost him the season.

Overall, the defense is in decent shape, given the number of young players who should be able to step into larger roles. That defensive line needs to be a focal point, though, with attrition a factor and the pass rush falling short of our wildest dreams for yet another year.

Special Teams

Sharrod Neasman: 324 (73.64%)

Jaeden Graham: 308

Foye Oluokun: 297

Keith Smith: 257

Jermaine Grace: 221

Kemal Ishmael: 219

Jamal Carter: 181

Russell Gage: 167

Olamide Zaccheaus: 150

Tyeler Davison: 148

Kendall Sheffield: 140

Brian Hill: 135

Kenjon Barner: 133

Josh Harris: 129

Damontae Kazee: 107

Blidi Wreh-Wilson: 105

Qadree Ollison: 98

Younghoe Koo: 94

Jordan Miller: 93

Justin Hardy: 93

Jack Crawford: 88

Duke Riley: 79

Deion Jones: 78

Christian Blake: 76

Ryan Allen: 74

De’Vondre Campbell: 72

Allen Bailey: 72

Jake Matthews: 71

Kaleb McGary: 68

Isaiah Oliver: 64

Grady Jarrett: 56

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner: 49

Wes Schweitzer: 49

James Carpenter: 41

Jamon Brown: 40

Matt Bryant: 34

Ty Sambrailo: 32

John Cominsky: 30

Jamar Taylor: 28

Kasey Redfern: 28

Austin Larkin: 25

Matt Wile: 25

Matt Bosher: 25

Chris Lindstrom: 22

Matt Gono: 20

Ahmad Thomas: 15

John Wetzel: 11

Austin Larkin: 11

D.J. White: 11

Matt Schaub: 9

Carson Meier: 8

Ito Smith: 7

Mohamed Sanu: 6

Ricardo Allen: 5

Alex Mack: 4

Johnathan Cyprien: 3

Deadrin Senat: 3

Takk McKinley: 2

Vic Beasley: 1


Those who felt the Falcons needed to move on from Keith Armstrong indicated that it was time to changes things up. Ben Kotwica certainly did a nice job with the pieces he was handed despite significant in-season changes, which bodes well given that he’s likely to lose some valuable players again in 2020.

The grave uncertainty at punter is an issue. As Thomas Dimitroff alluded to, there are specialists in this class that may be worth looking at late, including Penn State punter Blake Gillikin and Ohio State punter Drue Chrisman, both of whom are coming off of fine seasons and have strong legs. GIven the need to go forward with as much cap space as possible, I can’t imagine they’re going to invest a lot of dollars in the position, which could be bad news for Ryan Allen and Matt Bosher.

Kicker seems likely to come down to Younghoe Koo and potentially a rookie addition. Yes, I do think the Falcons could draft a kicker and a punter this year, given how intent they seem on making everyone crazy.

Beyond those concerns, it’s worth noting that Sharrod Neasman and Kemal Ishmael are both free agents, as well as Kenjon Barner. All three were key contributors this year for Kotwica, and given the relative price tags on all three, they’ll hopefully all be back.