The Atlanta Falcons had a very disappointing 2020 season, going 4-12 and finishing in last place in the NFC South. The Falcons are trying to retool with new general manager Terry Fontenot and new head coach Arthur Smith. They are in a tough cap situation, resulting in Julio Jones trade rumors. With this cap hell, Atlanta will need players on the roster to breakout.
In the offseason, the Falcons made the most of their moves in the draft. They made a few little signings in free agency, like running back Mike Davis, a move they hope will completely change the game for them. Atlanta made some great draft picks, which will help them retool the roster as well.
With some talented pieces on the roster already, here are three potential breakout players for the Falcons in the 2021 NFL season.
3. Offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom
Chris Lindstrom had a solid 2020 season and has become an established starter. He played almost every snap in 2020 and showed so much improvement. Lindstrom was the top-graded offensive lineman for the Falcons in 2020, according to PFF. Lindstrom has the talent to become a Pro Bowl lineman and be mentioned among the best of them.
Look for Lindstrom to progress even more and be a breakout player for the Falcons this season.
2. Running back Mike Davis
Arthur Smith has a very run-heavy scheme, which could lead to a Mike Davis breakout. Davis got some opportunity last season with the Carolina Panthers and showed promise. Christian McCaffery was hurt for most of the season which led to Davis’ playing time. He was a solid receiving and power back and could breakout for the Falcons. While he isn’t the most exciting running back, he can get the job done.
Be prepared for Davis to step up into the new Falcons offense and become a great running back.
1. Cornerback A.J. Terrell
A.J. Terrell had an up and down rookie season but showed flashes of his talent. He had an average season compared to other cornerbacks in the NFL but that is promising for a rookie. Most rookie defensive backs struggled in 2020 but Terrell was near the average according to PFF. That is very promising and he could take a big jump and breakout in the 2021 season.
Terrell is primed to breakout next season and could become an elite cornerback in the NFL.
The Falcons are in a tough NFC South division that includes the reigning champions in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers; all solid teams. It will be tough for the Falcons to win the division but they have the talent to compete. It’s a young roster paired with veteran talent like quarterback Matt Ryan. Even if Julio Jones is traded the Falcons will still have enough talent to compete.
The draft brought in more talent that will help compliment potential breakout players on the roster. In the first round the Falcons selected the highly talented tight end Kyle Pitts. Pitts is a matchup nightmare for any defense and will make the offense more lethal. He will take some of the pressure off of Smith to succeed early as the passing game should be lethal. Falcons fans should be prepared for a season filled with young talent breaking out.
Although the Falcons had a tough 2020 season they should be more competitive this season. Look for players to breakout and make the Falcons a team that competes in every game.