For the upcoming 2022 season, the Atlanta Falcons are looking to improve multiple facets of the team’s performance. From blocking to receiving, and even along the defensive front, improved play from key players will go a long way. While the Falcons may not be preparing for a Super Bowl, seeing multiple players take that next step in their development is vital to building back a winning culture. Therefore, here are three players who must improve for the Falcons in 2022…
Atlanta Falcons Players Who Must Improve in 2022
Offensive Tackle Kaleb McGary
When it comes to former 31st overall pick Kaleb McGary, it has not been about the potential. The upside has always been there for the Washington product, but the inconsistencies in his game have become too hard to overlook.
According to Pro Football Focus, McGary tied with the second most sacks allowed with 9. The Falcons offensive line has had its ups and downs over the past few seasons. Besides 2016, consistency hasn’t been a mainstay. The previous regime of Quinn and Dimitroff drafted Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary. Lindstrom has become one of the best right guards in the league with great awareness and footwork. As for McGary, progress has been up and down. Ever since 2018, McGary has struggled with injuries and inefficient play on the field. McGary has struggled with edge rushers over the past few seasons. With NFC South defensive lines improving, McGary will have to improve his technique to remain within the Falcons’ plans.
Wide Receiver Olamide Zaccheaus
Meanwhile, wide receiver Olamide Zaccheuas is in a completely different situation. He has impressed when given the chance, with the ability to be a downfield threat with solid hands. Then again, he enters 2022 with more target-share competition and with Atlanta’s receivers undertaking a new approach.
While production has increased each season, Zaccheaus will need to improve as an all-around receiver. In 2021, Zaccheaus saw more targets with the wide receiver room being limited for the season. However, Arthur Smith plans to emphasize height over speed for the 2022 season. Drake London, Auden Tate, and Bryan Edwards utilize their height to pinpoint the ball. Zaccheaus has the speed and agility to go past any opposing cornerback. Unfortunately, his height has the potential to limit his snap count. For the 2022 season, Zaccheaus will have to improve his route tree and hands to earn more playing time in the offense.
Defensive Lineman Marlon Davidson
Over the past couple of seasons, Davidson has received limited snaps on defense. When given the opportunity, Davidson has had a rough time disrupting both the run and pass game. Considering the Falcons need for interior pressure, the team needs Davidson to take that next step. As great as Grady Jarrett has been, the more productive defensive lineman in the rotation the better.
In defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ system, Davidson must improve at driving blockers back, as well as his overall stamina. With the secondary being the best unit on Atlanta’s defense, Davidson is among those who the team will rely on heavily to wreak havoc up front.
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