It’s not exactly news when rookies sign their initial contracts, as it’s much bigger news if they elect not to do so for some reason. That almost never happens. Still, it is exciting to officially have these players in the fold, and the Falcons have now signed two of them.
Rookie first round wide receiver Drake London, running back Tyler Allgeier, guard Justin Shaffer and tight end John FitzPatrick have all inked deals, per the team. You can probably expect more tonight as the team tries to get contracts done ahead of rookie minicamp, which begins tomorrow.
London is expected to immediately slot in as the team’s top receiver and the #2 option in the passing game behind all-world tight end Kyle Pitts. His size, ability to win contested catches, and sure hands make him a nice fit for a team still figuring out their quarterback situation, and I expect a big rookie season from him.
I expect a big season from Allgeier, as well, given that he may well be the lead back in Atlanta’s 2022 committee. The hyper-physical runner is already solid in pass protection and is good enough at catching the football to be a factor on all three downs, but first and foremost he’s going to run into you and over you. Arthur Smith is going to love that.
Shaffer is set to compete with Jalen Mayfield at left guard, and while I don’t expect him to win that battle in 2022, he’s at worst a long-term quality reserve with intriguing strength and run blocking acumen. If he catches fire this summer, he could surprise.
Finally, FitzPatrick is a quality blocking tight end with size and solid enough hands to become a more well-rounded option and push his way into a larger role on offense down the line. In his rookie season, he’ll be competing for #3 or #4 tight end duties.
Give all four an official welcome to the Falcons, and let’s hope for big years from all of them.