Now that the draft is behind us, we’re all looking forward to seeing where the rubber meets the road when the Falcons hit the field this preseason. It’s impossible to predict how good the Falcons will be this season and how this year’s free agency additions and draft picks will help the team. But that’s not stopping anyone from trying.
Post-draft power rankings are out, and in general, Atlanta’s offseason hasn’t moved the needle much for evaluators.
NFL.com: No. 23
Previous ranking: No. 27
Let’s start positively: Bijan Robinson is an enormous talent with the ability to become an immediate superstar in 2023. Problem is, anything less than instant greatness will make you wonder if the Falcons made the wrong decision with the eighth overall pick. Atlanta already has an excellent young backfield presence in 1,000-yard rusher Tyler Allgeier, and while Falcons coach Arthur Smith contended on Thursday night that Robinson is ”a lot more than a running back,” the University of Texas star is not an elite edge rusher, franchise quarterback or starting-caliber player at receiver/cornerback — all bigger needs for Atlanta entering the draft. Let’s see how this one plays out. - Dan Hanzus
New York Post: No. 16
Yes, Desmond Ridder is the quarterback, but rookie RB Bijan Robinson will help him immensely. HC Arthur Smith is desperate for pass rush, but the additions of DE Calais Campbell, NT David Onyemata, OLB Bud Dupree, S Jessie Bates III and CB Jeff Okudah for new DC Ryan Nielsen are reasons for optimism. - Steve Serby
Sports Illustrated: No. 20
The Falcons are building something reminiscent of San Francisco’s offense, which means that it can function at a pretty high level even without top-five elite quarterback play. The Bijan Robinson selection put the rest of the league on notice: The Falcons are going to be a nightmare to match up against this year. - Conor Orr
Bleacher Report: No. 29???
I truly don’t get this ranking, particularly based on the blurb.
With the addition of tight end Jonnu Smith in a trade and wideout Mack Hollins in free agency, Atlanta has assembled a group of towering pass-catchers. The Falcons’ official website lists Smith, Hollins, Drake London and Kyle Pitts at 6’3” or taller,” he said. “The Falcons could field a top-10 scoring offense next season, and they may not have to win scoring shootouts.
Atlanta finished the 2022 campaign with a defense that ranked 23rd or worse in points and yards allowed,” he continued. “Between free agency and the draft, the front office poured its resources into that side of the ball. The Falcons signed Jessie Bates III, Calais Campbell, David Onyemata, Kaden Elliss, Bud Dupree and Mike Hughes in free agency. They also drafted defensive lineman Zach Harrison and slot cornerback Clark Phillips III in the third and fourth rounds, respectively.
Atlanta could compete for a division title with Tom Brady transitioning into his post-career years in retirement. - Maurice Moton
Where would the Falcons land on your NFL power rankings? Share your thoughts in the comments.