PFF ranks the Falcons’ roster the NFL’s second-worst

"I feel confident this is the man to lead the NFL's second-worst roster." (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

“I feel confident this is the man to lead the NFL’s second-worst roster.” (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

"I feel confident this is the man to lead the NFL's second-worst roster." (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

“I feel confident this is the man to lead the NFL’s second-worst roster.” (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

This time last year, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus assessed the 32 NFL rosters and, in a post for ESPN Insider, ranked the Atlanta Falcons’ assemblage of talent the league’s 30th-best. (Or third-worst, depending on your perspective.)

That was then. Here’s now: Same writer, same format and an even worse rating for the local franchise. The Falcons, per Monson of PFF via ESPN Insider, have the NFL’s 31st-best/second-worst roster. And a Merry Christmas to us all.

According to Monson, the Falcons’ top five players are Julio Jones, Desmond Trufant, Matt Ryan and — believe it or not — two offensive linemen, neither of whom is Jake Matthews, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft. (Monson identifies Jon Asamoah and Ryan Schraeder as Nos. 4 and 5 among Falcons.) But wait. It gets worse.

Matthews is listed — alongside the likes of defensive end Tyson Jackson and fullback Patrick DeMarco — as a Starter Who Should Be Upgraded. I understand that PFF can go only on its data, and in Matthews’ case that data spans a rookie year in which he was hampered by a foot injury, but still: That seems a bit rough.

Enough quibbling. This roster ranking doesn’t include rookies, so Vic Beasley doesn’t figure, but the greater point remains: Even as the Falcons have two excellent players on offense and a rising star in Trufant, this would appear — according to PFF, and not only according to PFF — a roster that’s thin in its midsection.

Writes Monson: “There’s a worrying lack of quality elsewhere on the roster — particularly on defense.”

Which isn’t to say that a rise from 6-10 to the top of the woeful NFC South can be dismissed out of hand. As noted, Football Outsiders — another analytic web site — projects the Falcons to go 10-6. If Dan Quinn gets 10 wins out of the league’s second-worst roster, should he not be coach of the year?

Reader Comments 1

79 comments
freezboy
freezboy

Dem Falcons going to finish 2nd...not sure about the playoffs...fast start might get us there...

Mandingo
Mandingo

Ryan Schraeder ( D2-Valdosta State) has aways been a winner . When he gets free of Atlanta his career and/or wallet will surely blossom if he signs with a quality franchise .

Dman
Dman

Well, I guess we will have to show the league we are better than that.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

You have the worst roster in the NFL when you have the worst GM in the NFL!

candlin14
candlin14

I think the assessment is spot on. Matt Ryan will once again have absolutely ZERO PROTECTION. So what we have two decent running backs. It will be like Ray Charles trying to find a hole to run through.  Its beyond depressing that the roster is still this bad. Its beyond depressing that the fans (the ones who actual keep this team afloat) have to endure more Dimitrioff and more Kroy Biermann. The entire fanbase would have respected this team and this owner if they would have parted ways with both these idiots...


I am utterly ashamed of this defense, what no one understands is the fact that Quinn does not put on pads... He could call plays and draw up schemes better then anyone, but he isn't the one executing. He can not save Robert Alford from a 3rd and 15 defensive holding or PI, he can't save tons of fun Tyson Jackson from doing nothing accept collecting a check, he can't save this defense from sacking the QB. He can call a play and pray to god that the awful talent he has can make a play, thats all he can do.


Once again this team will be mediocre because we refuse to address our real problem, the OFFENSIVE LINE!!! And the second problem, THOMAS DIMITRIOFF!!! 

Falcons63
Falcons63

Every NFL team has talent.  All of these teams are composed of high draft picks, mid rounder's and FA's.  JMO, but in the NFL, coaching is everything.  Not necessarily X's and O's.  Every team has different terminology but everyone runs basically the same plays.  It's all about a staying healthy, and having a coach that's able to get the most out of the available talent. 

In this league 10-6 and 6-10 are separated by the slimmest of margins. Coach Smith came in and took a roster that was considered by most to be terrible.  Draft a QB, sign an RB and suddenly everything clicked.  However, things can fall apart just as fast as they came together.  Witness the last 2 Falcon seasons as proof of that.  I don't know if Dan Quinn will be a successful HC, but I will say that he is a great X's and O's guy and a great motivator.  Is that enough?  This season will be very interesting.

Todd22
Todd22

Not one mention that the Falcons nailed the 2015 draft according to all the "experts?" You can't point at what Monson say's as evidence and then discount what many analysts have said about the falcons draft this year. It doesn't matter anyway, if Quinn fixes the defense the Falcons are a playoff team. You have talent at the most important position-QB.

JAKilgoreBrunswick
JAKilgoreBrunswick

Has anyone EVER seen an explanation from Blank on what continuing value he sees in Dimitroff ?  The sad state of Falcons football is TOTALLY his responsibility, yet he is still employed.  Good thing that Blank had partners at Home Depot.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

This study validates every other study that has rated NFL players and team rosters the past 3 seasons. And in all of them, the Falcons grade out at the bottom. Folks, that is not coaching, that's the GM. So our idiot owner fired the coach and retained the GM. That's why this franchise Is spiraling down. It starts at the top and goes downhill from there. Do not expect a good season this year unless Quinn is the next coming of Coach Bud!

Chop Buster
Chop Buster

Sam Monson?  Who is he?  Is he an authority of NFL personnel?  Who did Seattle have that was a known defensive or offensive element before the started performing on the field?  Just because a number of the guys were mediocre/subpar under Smitty and crew, doesn't mean they'll be that way under Quinn and his staff.  Coaching DOES make a difference in how a player performs on the field.  A number of media folks said the Falcons' problem was lack of talent.  I believe it was lack of coaching and leadership.  What will Monson have to say if this team wins 10 or more games this season?  Everyone is psychic these days.

AcrusaderO
AcrusaderO

Sam Monson is a total moron. The Falcons personnel are not nowhere near as terrible as he thinks. Systems make everything and you'll see this year under Dan Quinn. This team will be greatly improved.

tlmaddox
tlmaddox

Hey but we still Dimitroff!  Yay for us!!

Bug
Bug

Look did it ever occur to anyone that the roster he took over 7 years ago actually depleted due to age, performance, contract demands or retirement?


And the decline that began just happened to coincide with Abe leaving 3 years ago?


Now that is not to say that Abe leaving alone was the reason but he was the last card in the card house.


The reason is because no talent was added as the original starters that left for whatever reason.


Only a numskull would make the claim TD built an empire and is the reason they accumulated the most wins by a coach is because of him.


There is no logic to that claim if you consider all the factors that build a pro football team.


I could claim that Mr. Bennett or Mr. Reeves teams would have produced more wins over the same time frame.


Who knows, the point is no one is saying TD is a bad person, just a really bad judge of football talent.


And that he did in "FACT" take a good roster and rode it until it flopped over. 


The logic says if he had replaced each starter with someone with equal or more talent they would have continued to win, Right?


That is logical.


Sorry Dman.    

Peachs
Peachs

Systems over players it is a hard concept to understand,doesn't sell merchandise but is is what is happening with a lot of teams in the 2015 year, including the Warriors, Hawks and Georgia Tech football. 

Stingshuh?
Stingshuh?

So if the Falcons are .500 this year or better, Quinn looks like a miracle worker.

Peachs
Peachs

@Stingshuh? happens every year some nobody gets a head of wind and looks like world beaters.  I love the moods this NBA finals goes through, both teams have had funerals prematurely as it swings one way or another.  I am glad we don't know what we are talking about makes the outcome like Christmas morning and not another work day. 

Stingshuh?
Stingshuh?

@Peachs @Stingshuh? You speak the truth.........I admit I am no NBA fan, jumped on the Hawk bandwagon, but I have really enjoyed these Finals......A Phoenominal Player vs. A great Team..........it's just going to get better.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

The GM for the Birds would be ranked last of the 32.  Time for Blank to do his job.

Dman
Dman

Oh yea, the GM that has brought in guys over the last 7 years that produced more wins in that span than in any other 8 year span in Falcon history. Not to mention a 5 year winning streak that had never happened before in franchise history. All of you TD haters gonna hate but the dude has produced some winning rosters. You can't deny that can you?

GT71
GT71

@Dman  As if the Falcons' history is a high hurdle to jump.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Dman

When you compare anything against the world-class sorriness that was the Falcons, that anything can appear to look good.

Dman
Dman

TD is better than any other GM we have ever had. If he gets fired, we could get someone worse.

RandyFalcon
RandyFalcon

@Dman For whatever reason TD made some excellent moves in his first couple of years then seemed to forget how to be a GM. His drafts, after the first round, were usually poor. And he was lucky that his O-line, at that time, was much better than thought. No one knew how much blame for the poor line play to put on Vick being a scrambling QB. Some of the blame for TD's poor drafts could be put on Coach Smith also. He had a stubborn streak and did not try to develop players. This is obvious by the way he refused to play Antoine Smith and some of the D-linemen that showed promise. People began referring to this as Smitty's "witness protection program". The last good year we had, the 10 yards from a Superbowl year, Smitty played the starters way too long in the last game of that year. He got Abe hurt and this cost us our pass rush and Superbowl appearance. The game was meaningless as we had already locked up home field for the playoffs. Well Smitty's gone and TD while still here is no longer in charge of drafting. Scott Pioli is. While it's early most analyst's like our draft this year. Lets see where we go from here.    

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Dman

Then why has he been stripped of most of his serious responsibilities?

HotDawg
HotDawg

It can only get better.

HotDawg
HotDawg

This is news?

We've known this for a couple of years.

WhopperDawg
WhopperDawg

Thanks Dimitroff, and don't blame Smith for personnel - that is your responsibility. I don't see him heaping all credit on Quinn for the initial positive returns this year's draft has garnered, but he sure heaped all the "blame" at the feet of Smith when it went south.


If this were my team, he wouldn't be taking out the trash.

Bug
Bug

Look it is very simple. Dimitroffs only quality is clicking his heals together "Ya Volt" when the King walks in.


Let's do this one more time.


He walked into a good team that needed a QB. RB and LT.


He did a great job his 1st year and got those players.


He rode that team until it died 3 years ago.


Every single draft since his 1st has been a complete "FLOP". ALL of his free agent signings have been a "FLOP".


"ALL OF THEM" "EVERYONE" get it. 


Only a buffoon or someone so arrogant to admit a mistake would actually continue to employee the guy yet fire Smith. 


Thank goodness that his only purpose now is to "run get coffee" when the King snaps his fingers and his position is only a smoke screen to save face.


The new coach is doing the personal/draft and of course it is not a known fact but a lest the guy did not reach for losers this year.


It is going to take "YEARS" to rebuild the roster because Dimitroff wasted 7 years of drafts except for a few players who can play.


So hang in there, it is all we got if you love the Falcons.

Stingshuh?
Stingshuh?

@DawgNole Look at the bright side...........you still can be proud of the Noles?

DawgNole
DawgNole

Been "hangin' in there" for 49 years. 

And that's still "all we got"?

Pathetic.

Terrytime
Terrytime

fire dummytroff!!!!!! you are 3 yrs late on letting him go ! just saying, The Falcons have spent enough $ to win a superbowl, BUT, dummytroff is picking our players......ughhhhhh

Mocha Fudge
Mocha Fudge

This isn't news.  Long, long season ahead.

gfw
gfw

We have a lot of good players, and that's what we fans focus on at this time of the year as we get excited about football and our team.  But of course every team has a lot of good players.  The real question is how many players "dominant at their position" a team has.  We have very, very few of those (in my opinion, only Julio, and, sometimes, Ryan).  Such teams usually lose more games than they win.


One good thing may result from another poor season with a team whose talent level is sub-average: Dimitroff will be fired.


OTOH, maybe Quinn is a magician motivator and will coach these guys to rise above their talent level. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@gfw

The Falcons have had many "poor seasons" over their 49-year existence. What "good thing" has resulted from their half-century of championship-starved futility? Earning their city the shameful label of "Losersville"? Earning also-ran status?

Not good enough!

Stingshuh?
Stingshuh?

@DawgNole @gfw Good grief!!.........maybe y'all should become Jag fans or something, Atlanta has poorer fans than Sports teams.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Stingshuh? @DawgNole @gfw

Typical ATL sports fan response. Blame the fans.

Your type of mentality--happy, happy, happy with ONE championship in 163 seasons of pro sports competition--is exactly why the city is known as "Losersville." 

Settle for mediocrity, and that's what you'll achieve.

Intelibird
Intelibird

@DawgNole @Stingshuh? @gfw

Here we go again, with your idiotic losing seasons number.  Don't you have anything better to do? 


Most people want to believe in the future, but you keep your eyes firmly fixed on the past.  What a loser!

Mutley
Mutley

Atl/Ga fans are as conditioned to losing as Pavlov's dogs.

JSSN
JSSN

@Intelibird 

Which Falcons do you want to lower you in the ground? (Thank you to the late Scott Entsminger of Cleveland, OH, he understood how he was gonna go). Calling somebody a "loser," low brow.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Intelibird

Did I hurt your feelings, delusional moron?

Good!

I'd suggest you come on back for more, but you don't have the guts. 

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