Back before his team elected not to draft any RBs, new Falcons HC Arthur Smith said he plans a committee approach in the backfield. “We’re not going to have Derrick Henry here,” Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in April. “So, it’s not like I think we’re going to have Derrick Henry. The reality is that we’ll get multiple backs in here, and we’ll have the way we trust our schemes and the way we teach the details of it, and we’ll commit to it." Mike Davis stands as the clear leader in a group who's next most accomplished rusher is Cordarrelle Patterson. But Patterson will factor in. Atlanta signed Javian Hawkins after the draft. We'll see about Qadree Ollison. And the Falcons could still add pieces. Davis makes for a solid target in current best-ball drafting. Just beware of projecting him too many touches simply because we can't see exactly where else they would go yet.
Has any RB's fantasy outlook improved more than that of Mike Davis through draft weekend? As of this writing (late in Round 6), the Falcons have spent all of their NFL Draft picks and drafted 0 RBs. "It just didn't fall our way," GM Terry Fontenot said of their RB considerations throughout the draft, according to ESPN's Michael Rothstein. That leaves 30-year-old Cordarrelle Patterson as the next most accomplished NFL rusher (167 career carries) behind Davis on the roster, and Atlanta does list Patterson at RB. Qadree Ollison and Tony Brooks-James join them. Fontenot and HC Arthur Smith added that they'll look at undrafted free agents and consider trades, free agents and post-June 1 cuts. So we'll see if the Falcons can add someone better than Davis. He has cleared a big hurdle through draft weekend, though.
The Falcons have reached a deal with free-agent RB Todd Gurley, less than a day after the Rams released him. Gurley showed us last season that he's no longer built for the workhorse role he shouldered for 3 full seasons with L.A. But he's still likely to lead the Atlanta backfield for 2020. We'll see whether the Falcons add anything else significant to a backfield that returns Ito Smith and Qadree Ollison (with Brian Hill a restricted free agent) after dumping Devonta Freeman. But Atlanta is about as good a landing spot as owners could have hoped for Gurley's fantasy outlook. He looks solid in the Round 4-5 range in current fantasy football drafting.