With a dearth of talent in skill positions currently on the roster, the Atlanta Falcons are moving a young defense to the offensive side of the ball.
Head coach Arthur Smith told reporters Thursday that Avery Williams, who made kicks and kicks and played 121 defensive tackles during the 2021 season, will be back with the Falcons in 2022.
Williams, 23, was drafted into the fifth round last year outside of Boise State. The 5-foot-9, 195-pound player made 15 appearances in 2021, mostly on special teams. Williams returned 20 balls for 153 yards and 23 kicks for 490 yards, leading all of the Falcons, including ace returner Cordarelli Patterson, in each class. In defense, Williams played sparingly but scored 22 tackles and three QB strikes and forced one of them to swerve.
The Falcons under Smith like to experience no-status football when attacking – Patterson, receiver and former returnee, is essentially a back-runner, while narrow end star Kyle Bates takes more lined up shots as a wide receiver – so moving a player like Williams back into Running isn’t out of character for the franchise. Williams should also be comfortable in his new position, as he was a star returning to JSerra Catholic (California) High School.
Sophomore Falcone will compete with the likes of Patterson, Damien Williams, Kadri Olison, Caleb Huntley and Tyler Allgear for fast picks in the RP.
Williams is this season’s latest addition to Atlanta offense in desperate need of juice (QBS Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ryder, RB Williams, WRS Drake London, Brian Edwards, Damier Beard, Khedaryl Hodge, Auden Tate; Anthony Verckers). The Falcons also added the previous tail of the Tennessee Titans Jeremy McConchols Thursday.
Atlanta’s gains from the offensive won’t come at the expense of its squad unit. Williams is still expected to play an important role in the second leg in 2022.
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”