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NFL Insider: Falcons UDFA Is The "Most Talented Back On The Roster"

Is Mike Davis really the top running back in Atlanta? One NFL insider believes he could be overtaken by a more talented back on the depth chart.

Attention, fantasy football enthusiasts, pull up the notepad app on your phones because you might want to pay attention to what's coming next.

When the Atlanta Falcons signed little-known running back Javian Hawkins as an undrafted free agent out of Louisville, he wasn't seen as a player who could have an early-down role due to his size (5-9, 183 pounds).

But when you take a look at the Falcons' running back depth chart, it's easy to make a case for why he just might be the most productive runner out of the team's backfield this season. And at least one NFL analyst agrees with that opinion due to the existence of tight end Kyle Pitts.

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"You won't be able to stack the box against the Falcons - and I mean ever, under any circumstances - with Kyle Pitts in the slot (or out wide, whatever)," Thor Nystrom of NBC Sports Edge said when discussing how the Falcons offense will "be much more pass-heavy" under new head coach Arthur Smith than his Tennessee Titans-led offense was last season.

Norstrom added this nugget: "Which plays to the game of the most talented back on the roster — Javian Hawkins."

Hawkins, 21, currently sits behind former Carolina Panthers back Mike Davis and 2019 fifth-rounder Qadree Ollison on the depth chart. Veteran Cordarrelle Patterson lurks as a wide receiver/running back hybrid and will primarily be used on special teams.

If there's a guy looking to win a job in camp, Hawkins might have one of the easier chances in the backfield to stake claim to this summer.

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Hawkins elected to sit out of the COVID-shortened season after playing eight games in 2020. He led the Cardinals backfield with 822 yards on the ground to go along with seven touchdowns. In 2019, he rushed for a school-record 1,525 yards on 264 carries and had nine touchdowns.

This is a position battle to watch when camp kicks off at the end of the month. Hawkins, for starters, doesn't need to be the "best runner'' in camp. First, he just needs to catch the eye of his bosses.