Another week of Falcons OTAs comes to a close Friday in an open practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. There's another week after this, followed by a mandatory minicamp where we should see the full squad truly come together.
The Falcons are building chemistry, installing schemes and getting used to playing with a mix of new and old faces. They aren't wearing pads and don't always go full speed, but we're getting glimpse of who the Falcons are becoming.
Let's talk more about that, and, of course, the rookies, in this Friday mailbag.
Anthony Turner from Fort Miller, S.C.
My question is the running back that Atlanta selected in this year's draft, Tyler Allgeier, I remember reading an article about him on [another] web site about there was one downside to his playing ability, that is fumbling the football. That really concerns me.
Bair: In no way would I say Tyler Allgier has a fumbling problem. He fumbled six times in 498 touches (452 carries, 46 receptions), and only lost three of those. So, as you can see, he doesn't have a fumbling problem.
I would say he's tough, athletic runner who is a tackle breaker, and I can back that statement up with numbers, too. He ranked first among Power Five running backs with 1,683 yards after contact. He was fourth in missed tackles forced with 111.
I've spoken with him one-on-one a few times now, and I can say he's supremely motivated to prove himself at this level, as lightly-recruited preferred walk-ons are known to be.
While this is a subjective thing, Allgeier sees great opportunity for his skill set in the Falcons scheme. Read more about that here.
Mack Guynn from Woodland, Calif.
Hi Scott….what is your take on Desmond Ridder falling to the 3rd round of draft, he seems to have the talent, had a great W-L record at Cincy…I thought he would go no later than 2nd round, and I do think the Falcons got a gem in the 3rd round…just curious why he fell and what other teams hesitancy's were…thx
Bair: Sometimes the NFL Draft is all about taking top talent. Other times it's about market analysis, how to extract the greatest value from a given slot. You also have to watch for positional runs, as what happened with receivers after the Falcons took Drake London at No. 8 overall. There was a frenzy to go get a top-tier talent.
That run never materialized for quarterbacks, pushing a position beyond where teams grade them. That's unusual for quarterbacks. We often see them go sky high because they're such a premium position.
The Steelers took Kenny Pickett at No. 20 and then teams waited and waited until the Falcons finally took Desmond Ridder off the board. Then two more QBs went in the third.
Ridder wasn't happy about the fall but, it may work out well for the Falcons. He has the size, talent, drive and moxie to excel at the NFL level. If he ends up being a long-term solution at quarterback, the Falcons should rejoice. It's rare to extract that from the third round, with Russell Wilson and Joe Montana an obviously notable exception.
The rookies and vets are out at Flowery Branch working together as a team for the first time.
Brian H from Sparks, Nev.
I wanted to get your take on what our D-Line should look like at opening day. With John Cominsky being released, it looks like the entire line is up for grabs outside of Grady Jarrett.
Bair: There will be some heavy competition to establish roles outside alongside Grady Jarrett's three-down presence. Notice how I said roles. I don't see anyone else playing as much, instead tailored to specific packages or techiniques.
For example, I'd expect to see a big-bodied nose-tackle type like Anthony Rush next to Jarrett and another closed end on rushing downs. Who will that be? Could be a battle between TaQuon Graham or Marlon Davidson. I'm intrigued by both when they play at a high level, but I'm really interested to see how Graham develops in his second season. Newcomer Vincent Taylor could play his way into the mix as well. We'll see how that all shakes out.
There are generally two interior linemen in the sub packages – defense spend tons of time there – and Davidson might be the front runner there. We'll see, because Graham could feature there as well. You asked about Ade Ogundeji moving inside some because of his length, but I'd be surprised if that happened.
Will Smith from Summerville, Ga.
Hi, Scott, let's talk about McGary and the O line in general. I'd still like to see him moved to guard. He's big and nasty but not quick enough for today's hybrid rushers.
Bair: I've heard this suggestion a few times before, but I don't really see that happening at this stage. McGary's a career tackle heading into his fourth professional season. That would be a difficult switch to the inside for those not used to it, and it'd be even tougher going to the left side with Chris Lindstrom anchored at right guard.
If I'm McGary, I'm not into that move, either. The Falcons turned down his fifth-year option, making 2022 a contract year. I'd want to play a position where I'm most comfortable, most able to have a big year. That's at right tackle, so he can try to parlay a productive season into a longer-term with the Falcons or another club.
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Falcons Final Whistle | A Postgame Podcast
Break down the hottest topics surrounding the Atlanta Falcons and how they can impact the team's success with Atlanta Falcons Insiders Scott Bair, Tori McElhaney and Kris Rhim. Like and subscribe to join us for the lively debate on Falcons Final Whistle.
Welcome to Falcons Final Whistle – an Atlanta Falcons football postgame podcast during the season that shifts gears in the offseason to answer a pressing question about the team's future each week through free agency, the NFL Draft and the offseason program.