Bair Mail: On Drake London and the Falcons new-look WR corps, Cordarrelle Patterson and RB competition, reliance on Desmond Ridder and more.

Bair Mail: On Drake London and the Falcons new-look WR corps, Cordarrelle Patterson and RB competition, reliance on Desmond Ridder and more.

The Falcons now have three OTAs on the books, with seven on the record. Thursday’s session was open to the media, in addition to the availability of players and assistant coaches.

It provided our first glimpse of the rookies and veterans working together, including the first time we saw so many new faces in black and white.

That leaves plenty to discuss both in this Friday’s Bair Mail and in future installments next week.

Let’s skip the long preamble and go straight to your questions:

Heading into the offseason, our WR locker was in shambles. Now that we’re in OTAs & Slowly heading into mini/training camp, we’ve got what could be a surprisingly good group. Yes, the o-line & QB needs to play well, but I don’t think Atlanta gets enough credit for the talent he brought. Given how Coach Smith unlocked CP, there is no reason why Auden Tate, Damiere Byrd, & Bryan Edwards can’t do the same alongside Drake London & Kyle Pitts. Would you agree that the WR room is in the middle of the league at its worst?

Bair: Wide receiver has been a major need for a long time since Calvin Ridley was unavailable for the 2021 season. With Russell Gate in Tampa and Ridley suspended, you’re right that the position group is going backwards.

While we can include Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson in the pass catcher conversation, we saw last year that the Falcons can’t thrive with Pitts and CP alone.

They need more and they have more. Drake London was obviously a great pick at No. 8 overall and a solid scheme. He will experience debutante moments. His transition might not be as smooth as Pitts’ was a year ago. I’m sure he’ll produce and become a big factor in this league over time.

I also think Bryan Edwards was an underrated pickup who will excel and get targets while defenses focus on others. While not a Blazer, he can make big plays at 17 yards per reception. The receiving corps isn’t perfect, but it’s much better than it was in January. Marcus Mariota will benefit from this. The run game should benefit from a receiving corps that, led by London, is far more talented than the second half of 2021.

Atlanta Falcons defensive back Lafayette Pitts #38 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Geronimo Allison #83 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Bryce Rodgers #98 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Rashad Smith #59 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham #95 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Darren Hall #34 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Auden Tate #19 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London #5 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Darren Hall #34 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons inside linebacker Rashaan Evans #54 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Grady Jarrett #97 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons tight end Brayden Lenius #81 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons safety Jaylinn Hawkins #32 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons free safety Dean Marlowe #21 during practice in Flowery Branch, Georgia on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Darren Hall #34 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Teez Tabor #20 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons tackle Jake Matthews #70 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons inside linebacker Mykal Walker #3 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Marlon Davidson #90 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Timothy Horne #93 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons inside linebacker Rashaan Evans #54 during practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Will Smith of Summerville, Ga.

Arthur Smith has really filled the RB room, hasn’t he? What do you think his plan is? Trying to establish a first offense, heavy play action, move CP to full time wide receiver? Maybe find the next Derrick Henry? Isn’t it right that only three RBs dress for a given game? Why carry so many on a talentless roster? Help me see the master plan.

Bair: Will, I think all these running back additions and trying Avery Williams in the offense follows a common offseason theme. Arthur Smith wants to add competition. We’re not talking about an A-level group of running backs. Patterson will move all over the place. Rookie Tyler Allgeier (I think he’ll be good) and veteran Damien Williams will battle to carry them. Jeremy McNichols has experience with the Arthur Smith system. We’ll wait and see how Williams performs. There are more fullbacks than spots available on the roster, but that’s not a bad problem. Save the best. Move on from others and try to find long-term solutions. This is the goal at each site. No one outside of Patterson is a lock for significant playing time. They will have to earn it.

What’s up dude! With the defensive talent in next year’s class being so good (Tim Anderson!), what kind of production do you think Ridder needs to have for the Falcons to not move to QB next year? 3000 meters. 25 TD and < 12 int?

Bair: I don’t think it’s a statistical thing, Justin. I think it’s a confidence factor that can’t be quantified. I also think it matters if the Falcons are drafted in or out of the top 5.

I will also say that I understand your larger point. What would make the Falcons move quarterbacks in next year’s draft or free agency? Before we just deal with Ridder, let’s not forget that Marcus Mariota is only 28 years old and could be a long-term answer as well. First impressions of Ridder are positive, both in his arm and his demeanor. The dud just gets it. I think two things happen: Mariota plays all season because he’s playing well, and they’re more likely to hang on because of him. – OR – Ridder plays a string of games near the end of the season and inspires enough confidence for the Falcons to focus on other positions.

I hate to keep offering caveats here, but I’ll add one more. If they choose first and can choose between C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young or someone they consider a generational/transcendent talent will pick this guy regardless of how he feels about the in-house option.

Fart! just wanted to make you laugh 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Bair: Well, your mission accomplished, Jim Bob. I laughed, and immediately showed my wife. Since we’re dealing with some childish humor here, let me relay my four-year-old son’s favorite joke [which he tells me, in a cute little girl voice, 5-7 times a day]:

but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”

Call for questions

Call for questions

We have a Memorial Day mail bag, even though it’s a holiday. This may interest you : Transgender cheerleader kicked out of college denies physical altercation. Submit your questions right here to be included in Monday’s mailbag.

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