On Sunday night, NFL Network announced it's first batch of top 100 players of 2022 selections with the 100-50 announcements. It's a list voted on by the players in the league. Two current Falcons players made an appearance in the top 100-50 players. Kyle Pitts came in at No. 91, while Cordarrelle Patterson was ranked No. 73. Neither were ranked on this list at this time last year.
Pitts had one of the most electric rookie seasons of a tight end in the modern football era. By the time the season was over, Pitts had racked up over 1,000 receiving yards. By doing so, he cemented himself in history, becoming only the second tight end to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark in his rookie year. The only other player to do this? Mike Ditka in 1961.
With a 15.1 receiving yards per catch average last year, Pitts ranked No. 1 among tight ends in that stat line as well.
Patterson's story is entirely different. While Pitts did all of this in his rookie year, Patterson has been in the league for a decade and never had the production the 2021 season brought him. For starters, the Falcons seemed to crack the Cordarrelle Code last season, figuring out how best to use him as an offensive weapon and not just a return man (though one should note he's been a very solid return man in his career).
It felt like at times last year that when things weren't working offensively, Patterson still was.
He carried the ball 153 times in 2021, accumulating over 600 rushing yards and six touchdowns. By comparison, Patterson's next closest number of carries came in 2020, when he carried the ball 64 times. As a receiver, Patterson caught 52 passes for over 500 yards and five touchdowns.
He became a staple in Atlanta's offense, and signed a two-year deal this offseason because of it.
Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions in the first preseason game of 2022.