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Pair of Falcons debut on NFL Top 100 Players list

A pair of Falcons make their first NFL Top 100 Players list. First-year sensation Kyle Pitts was the first rookie revealed on the list, and Cordarrelle Patterson finally made the list in his ninth NFL season.

Atlanta’s unicorn hauled in 68 receptions for 1,026 yards and a touchdown en route to the Pro Bowl — the first rookie tight end to do so since Jeremy Shockey. Pitts had an inconsistent first season in the league, but the flashes were brighter than a supernova, breaking several records — passing Tony Gonzalez for the most single-season receiving yards in team history from a tight end, becoming the franchise’s all-time rookie receiving yards leader, and the first rookie tight end in 60 years to surpass 1,000 receiving yards. Moreover, reports coming out of camp suggest Pitts is just scratching the surface.

The people inside the building know this better than anyone. Arthur Smith, for one, will attest to the incredible ceiling the young man out of Florida possesses. “With all these rookies, everything’s new to them. New environment, new team, new staff and new terminology,” Smith said. “As you’ve seen with Kyle, as he progressed through last season – I’ve said this many times – he’s just scratching the surface. You see a different player and mindset.”

Pitts came in at No. 5 in ESPN’s poll of the best tight ends and came in at No. 6 on Madden 23’s tight end ratings. The Falcons have a superstar in Kyle Pitts, and this sort of praise is just the beginning; he’ll soon become one of the faces of the league.

Cordarrelle Patterson, in Year 10, finally made his first appearance on the list. It might be some sort of record for the longest-tenured player debuting on the Top 100. Still, the season Patterson had last year is undoubtedly deserving of this honor. He is coming off a year in which he recorded the best numbers of his career, setting career highs in receiving, rushing, and total touchdowns — 618 rushing yards (4.0 YPC), six rushing touchdowns, 548 receiving yards (10.5 YPR) and five receiving touchdowns.

The only other Falcons that will probably make the NFL Top 100 Players list are Grady Jarrett and AJ Terrell; hopefully, we get to see more Falcons honored by their NFL brothers!

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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