161 attempts for 804 yards on the ground combined last season by these two Falcons. Oh my, who will fill the void left by Marcus Mariota and Caleb Huntley? For the 3rd ranked rushing offense in 2022, they resorted to reaching out of their positional needs hierarchy to draft the flashy playmaker instead. How well has drafting RB’s gone in the Arthur Smith & Terry Fontenot era? Didn’t they draft a 5th rd RB who accounted for 210 attempts for 1,035 yards, a 4.9 average, and 3 TD’s?
Enter Atlanta’s most recent 1st rd draft pick, RB Bijan Robinson. Last seasons production on the ground was basically divided up into thirds. 1/3 Tyler Allegeier, 1/3 Corrdarelle Patterson, 1/3 Mariota, Huntley, etc.
I’m not sure what the split is on the base in terms of the tread they believe Patterson has left on him, but last seasons positional losses and anticipating the moment every one sees future dip in his production makes it pretty clear that this regime had the smarts to pursue two strong, fast, and young RB’s who can split a workload for many years. Cordarrelle is still a valuable component in the many ways we know he is both athletically still, and providing his veteran leadership. Atlanta could very easily keep him healthy through the means of managing his touches and giving him a "Taysom Hill" role in the offense.
Think about it, Patterson and Jonnu Smith are essentially role players who have proven to be focal points of offenses in the past. Atlanta is trouting around an offense Patrick Mahomes would eat in, Burrow would eat in, that any established QB in the league would see an uptick in their production. How well the rush is will dictate how much more lethal the passing game becomes as a compliment by default. Ridder really has 0 excuses to get anything done. He has TE safety outlets galore and a plethora of backs who can both catch and pass protect. Haven’t even mentioned the obvious upgrade in the WR room.
What are your thoughts? Will Atlanta’s rushing game be better than last years and will it be ranked higher? Im seeing the "analysts" rank them pretty low imo heading into 2023.