Thursday, May 5, 2022

Falcons draft pick named common favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year

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Not many would pick a member of this Atlanta Falcons offense to win a season-ending award this year. Not when the Falcons replaced Matt Ryan at quarterback with Marcus Mariota. Not when the team’s most talented wide receiver, Calvin Ridley, is serving indefinite ban for violating NFL betting rules.

However, there is still talent under a supporting cast that the Falcons added during the 2022 NFL draft. In fact, General Manager Terry Fontenot picked a prospect already being tapped by a prominent website to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year.

This player must share his favorite status with the lone quarterback won in the opening round. However, the newcomer to the Falcons roster may have a better chance as an author gives it a three-digit tip in a key statistical category.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers used the 20th pick overall to take Kenny Pickett off the board. He has an excellent chance of beating Mitchell Trubisky to replace Ben Roethlisberger.

There’s a reason why the athlete believes Pickett has the best chance of winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. Pickett doesn’t have the field all to himself, though, not when the same source named new Falcons wide receiver Drake London 13-2 as the joint favorite.

London’s odds are even cheaper with Ben Fawkes and DraftKings Sportsbook:

London came off the board as the eighth player in the first round. His selection started a run on receivers, arguably the lowest position in this year’s draft class.

First ahead of hyped contenders like Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams, London will add pressure to exceed expectations as a rookie.

When Jeff Schultz from the athlete Let’s say the Falcons are “judged” on whether they picked the right receiver ahead of Wilson and Williams. London will also be judged on these terms first receiver taken:

Luckily, London has the tools to meet expectations and surpass some of the recipients who garnered more fanfare in the preliminary design process. His primary attribute is size, a 6’5″, 210-pound frame capable of dominating one-on-one matches and winning in close quarters.

These are some of the reasons why Around The NFL’s Gregg Rosenthal believes that “nobody has a clearer path to 100 goals.” He pointed out that the Falcons head coach, “Arthur Smith knows how to maximize big receivers,” an obvious reference to how the 6’1″, 226-pounder AJ Brown hit back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, as Smith’s offensive coordinator was the 2019-20 Tennessee Titans.

Rosenthal also spoke about London’s ability to win from the slot for the Falcons. Bringing London into play pulls coverage away from dynamic sophomore tight end Kyle Pitts. Having both players set up on the same side of the formation becomes a nightmare for defense.

A partnership between Pitts and London is something Rosenthal believes will be to the Falcons’ advantage against zone coverage:

It’s not just Pitts who will allow London to see a ton of singles coverage. There’s also the presence of Cordarrelle Patterson, who caught 52 passes for 548 yards and five touchdowns last season despite spending most of his time running back.

Patterson could play more receivers this year after the Falcons signed Damien Williams as a running back in free agency. The team also drafted BYU’s Tyler Allgeier in the fifth round.

If Patterson and Pitts part ways often, London should be feasting out of the slot where his ability is to make contested catches will be presented:

Sure hands and power helped London make 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in his final season with USC, according to the sports reference. Similar numbers would certainly put London in the running for the OROY name.

He’s paired with the right team, the right coach, and the right supporting cast to reprise his best college production.

Patterson could play more receivers this year after the Falcons signed Damien Williams as a running back in free agency. The team also drafted BYU’s Tyler Allgeier in the fifth round.

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