Pair of Falcons Make PFF's 2024 All-Breakout Team

The Atlanta Falcons had one offensive and one defensive player on PFF's 2024 All-Breakout Team.
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Arnold Ebiketie
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Arnold Ebiketie / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Falcons haven't drafted an offensive or defensive lineman in the first round since 2019. But Pro Football Focus still expects one player on each unit for the Falcons to experience a breakout campaign in 2024.

PFF's Gordon McGuinness picked one player to experience a breakout season at every position this upcoming season. At left guard, he selected Falcons 2023 second-round pick Matthew Bergeron.

"The 2023 second-round draft pick out of Syracuse took his lumps as a rookie but had enough flashes for there to be optimism that he can become a plus starter for the Falcons in 2024," McGuinness wrote. "Bergeron had four games last season where he didn’t allow any pressure in pass protection."

Additionally, at edge rusher, McGuinness picked Falcons 2022 second-rounder Arnold Ebiketie.

"Ebiketie flashed enough as a pass rusher in Year 2 for onlookers to think he can take another step forward in 2024. His pressure rate jumped from 9.2% as a rookie to 16.0% last year."

The Falcons already have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. PFF ranked Atlanta right guard Chris Lindstrom the best guard in the NFL. The analytic website also rated Falcons offensive tackles Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary two of the top 30 tackles in the league.

Finally, PFF also gave center Drew Dalman love this offseason, calling him the Falcons' most underrated player.

Bergeron emerging with a breakout season could catapult the Falcons offensive line to the top of any ranking for the unit.

But on the other side of the ball, the Falcons could desperately use a breakout campaign from Ebiketie. Atlanta didn't re-sign either edge rusher Calais Campbell or Bud Dupree. That leaves Ebiketie the only returning Falcons defender who had more than 4 sacks last season.

The Falcons also chose to draft quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the first round instead of one of the class's top edge rushers.

Ebiketie was highly efficient, recording 6 sacks and 12 quarterback hits while playing just 384 defensive snaps last season. He likely benefitted from fewer snaps and playing alongside Dupree and Campbell.

But Ebiketie won't have either of those luxuries in 2024. The Falcons will be counting on him being the team's top edge rusher with rookies such as Bralen Trice and Brandon Dorlus in supporting roles.

Dave Holcomb


Dave is a staff writer at Falcon Report. He also writes at Yardbarker, Southern Pigskin, Cox Media, and Rotowire. Follow him on Twitter @dmholcomb.