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DiMarco, Schraeder Recognized for Breakout Years

It's not often that a team has two undrafted players on their roster who enjoy breakout years and become starters by proving they can consistently dominate in the NFL.

Fortunately for Coach Dan Quinn, he has that in FB Patrick DiMarco and RT Ryan Schraeder.

Pro Football Focus included DiMarco and Schraeder on their All-Pro team and also recently included them in their top-25 breakout players of the 2015 season.

DiMarco, an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina in 2011, not only made a name for himself in Atlanta, but also caught the attention of many around the league, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl in January.

His ability to be stout in both the run and pass game helped him shine in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme that was implemented.

"The FB position is dying in the pro game, but the Falcons' Patrick DiMarco is fighting to keep it alive," PFF writer John Breitenbach said of DiMarco. "Skill position players who relish blocking are rare in today's NFL, but DiMarco still falls into that category. The Falcons' fullback led all players at his position with a 13.6 run-blocking grade, a marked improvement from the -2.0 grade he achieved in 2014."

Schraeder and his play throughout the 1,142 snaps he took was a big reason for the strides the Falcons' offensive line was able to make, and Pro Football Focus noticed.

The Valdosta State product clearly has the potential to become a Pro Bowl tackle based off his growth in Shanahan's system.

"The Falcons' improvement at tackle was a key reason they started the 2015 season so well," said Breitenbach. "Jake Matthews improved significantly on the left side, but it was right tackle Ryan Schraeder who made the jump from average to very good. Despite taking the field for about double the snaps he managed in 2014, Schraeder allowed fewer combined QB knockdowns than he had the previous year. He finished 2015 with just two sacks, two hits, and 20 pressures allowed, culminating in the fourth-highest pass protection grade."

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