With their final pick of the 2019 NFL Draft the Falcons selected former Louisiana Monroe star Marcus Green, who is the type of all-purpose skill player Atlanta’s loaded offense hasn’t really had outside of maybe Taylor Gabriel.
Green’s film is arguably the most fun of any of the players the Falcons recently drafted. He is truly an all-around football player, capable of playing running back, wide receiver and returning kicks. The Falcons insist that Green will play running back, but his skills as a receiver can’t be overlooked.
Given Tevin Coleman’s departure, it’s not surprising the Falcons drafted a multi-purpose running back. It’s easy to forget just how good a receiver Coleman was, but he was a key element of the offense who was capable of stretching the field vertically in the passing game.
Green, who is 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds, is much smaller than Coleman, but he brings great receiving skills to Atlanta’s backfield. He also brings some serious speed. Green reportedly ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, which would have been the fastest among all running backs at the NFL combine.
Combine Green’s speed and his receiving ability, and it’s easy to see how his versatility could become an asset in an already dynamic offense.
In the open field Green is a very agile and fluid runner. He’s got more strength to him than his size would indicate and is just as likely to break through tackles as he is to avoid them.
This makes Green a weapon in the short screen game, allowing the Falcons to get him the ball early with space in front of him to make plays. When the Falcons’ offense was clicking on all cylinders in 2016, that short screen game with Gabriel was a key aspect of the unit.
The other key part of Green’s game is his ability as a kick returner, and it’s in this area where the sixth-round pick could have the biggest impact early on. Not since Devin Hester have the Falcons had a true threat back to return kicks and punts, but Green could become a very good return man in the NFL.
There will be a learning curve for Green coming out of Louisiana Monroe, but his production in college speaks for itself.
A first-team all-conference player in 2017 and 2018, and a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s top all-purpose player as a senior, Green had 3,190 yards from scrimmage and 24 touchdowns during his college career. He also returned 70 kickoffs for 1,761 yards and four touchdowns and 28 punts for 280 yards and an additional score.
Green will need to refine his play to continue to be an effective playmaker in the NFL, but his play jumps off the tape. The versatility Green possesses will allow the Falcons to pick and choose how to deploy him in an offense that should provide him plenty of opportunities to succeed.