Falcons scenarios head to training camp

Training camp is approaching for the Falcons as rookies report July 19 and veterans report July 26. The first training at Flowery Branch will take place on July 27. It’s been quite a turbulent offseason for the organization – extending Jacques Matthews and Grady Shankmerchant matt ryan, Calvin Rileyfrom the suspension and drafting of a potential franchise quarterback to Desmond Ridder. Here are the biggest storylines surrounding the team heading into training camp.

Quarterback competition

The Falcons are heading for a training camp battle between Marcus Mariota and Desmond Rider. The veteran must definitely be the frontrunner, given his experience on Arthur Smith’s offense and against NFL defenses. However, reports coming out of camp suggest that Ridder should not be written off. Smith said he didn’t have typical rookie issues; Charles London also added how players, even veterans, gravitate toward leadership of the Cinncianti product. My money would be on Mariota, aside from injuries, but Ridder is going to make it interesting.

Deion Jones Status

The former LSU Tiger had one hell of a fall from grace. Once considered one of the best players in his position, Jones continues to post unforgettable seasons. There was mass speculation earlier this offseason that the Falcons were trading him or cutting him, but shoulder surgery interrupted those conversations. A trade’s pay break is attractive, while Jones’ release doesn’t offer much. It will be interesting to see how the Falcons approach his status at the start of training camp.

Avery Williams Job change

It’s one of the most exciting stories surrounding the Falcons in years. Drafted as a special teams ace, Williams quickly established himself as a key cog in the team’s third phase. He was electric with the ball in his hands, delivering punts and kickoffs, but he wasn’t exactly inspiring when playing sparingly in defense. The switch from corner to ball carrier should be beneficial for Williams, who has similar skills to Darren Sproles. Arthur Smith has been creative with his use of talented players, so the former Boise State Bronco could have an expanded role on offense this season.

Left Guard Competition

I can’t wait to see Jalen Mayfield in 2022. He was objectively one of the worst offensive linemen in football last season, and the team didn’t do much to level up. They drafted Justin Shaffer and signed Germain Ifedi and Elijah Wilkinson to compete at left guard, so there is some semblance of competition. I can’t wait to see how Mayfield’s development progresses because if he’s marginal it will be a massive stain on Terry Fontenot’s CV.

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire



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