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Falcons Camp: Rookie Mayfield Gets First-Team Chance

Injuries have shaken up the Atlanta Falcons offensive line, and rookie Jalen Mayfield from the Michigan Wolverines gets an early look.

Yesterday the Atlanta Falcons placed starting tackle Kaleb McGary and reserve offensive lineman Matt Gono on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

READ MORE: Falcons Place 3 Players on the PUP List

This has left an opening for rookie third-round pick Jalen Mayfield to log snaps with the first team at right tackle.

According to reports from Flowery Branch, Mayfield worked with the starters to open camp on Thursday.

Mayfield lined up with guards Chris Lindstrom and Josh Andrews, center Matt Hennessy, and left tackle Jake Matthews.

While Mayfield wasn't being counted on to play with the first team this early in his young career, the 6'5 and 328 pounder is exactly the type of player that new coach Arthur Smith likes: tough, aggressive and mean.

READ MORE: Jalen Mayfield is a Perfect Fit for Arthur Smith Offense

Mayfield had a relatively brief career with the Michigan Wolverines. He played in three games as a freshman before earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in 2019 as a sophomore.

He initially opted out of 2020 before returning, but an injury limited him to just two games.

Mayfield was drafted by the Falcons after only having played 18 games with 15 starts at offensive tackle for Michigan.

Getting action with the first team early in camp will exponentially accelerate a rookie who is not only inexperienced in the NFL, but as a college player as well.

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McGary and Gono are both eligible to return from the PUP list as soon as they're healthy, but for now, the right tackle spot belongs to Mayfield.