Undrafted rookie signal-caller, Feleipe Franks, is doing just that and it’s not going unnoticed.
“And here’s another name to keep in mind, especially as you get into preseason — because you’re going to see a lot of him — rookie quarterback Feleipe Franks,” Tom Pelissero said on NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp Live. “Huge guy with a huge arm. Started out at the University of Florida. Got hurt there. Kyle Trask took over. Transferred to Arkansas. Was a surprise that he did not up getting drafted. From what I’m told, he’s been following Matt Ryan around the building like a puppy dog, soaking up everything that he possibly can. Look for Franks to be one of those guys who jumps out in the preseason, guys.”
Franks started his college career with the Florida Gators but soon lost his starting job to Kyle Trask after an ankle injury in 2019. He entered the transfer portal and wound up in Arkansas as the leader of the Razorbacks. He ended last fall completing 68.5% of his passes for 2,107 yards, 17 touchdowns, and four interceptions through nine games.
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Frank Has Been Impressing Since OTAs
Franks, 23, has been drawing attention since the Falcons’ mandatory minicamp back in June where head coach Arthur Smith noted that he had been very pleased with what he’s seen so far.
“I mean, you’re evaluating that every day,” Smith told reporters in June. “We’re going to be very demanding of that position. It helps when he’s around someone like Matt, watches how Matt works, how Matt operates — that’s a really important part of somebody’s growth and development. It helps when you have veterans that can play at a high level and watch them operate, what’s made them successful and continue to make ’em successful.
“So that certainly helps, but Feleipe’s done a nice job of what we’ve thrown at him. But you’re evaluating that — at some point, is it too much? They’re coming from very different systems. And that’s no knock on anything college football. It’s just the way we’re operating, things we’re asking the quarterback.”
While AJ McCarron is the presumed backup, Franks will continue to compete for a spot on the active 53-man roster as a third-string quarterback––that’s only if the Falcons choose to carry a third QB.
Feleipe Has a ‘Unique Skillset’
It’s too soon to tell if Feleipe will crack the 53-man roster, especially while competing next to an experienced QB like McCarron, but quarterbacks coach Charles London has been a fan of Feleipe from day 1.
“Feleipe has a really unique skill set,” London said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He has a big arm. He’s a really athletic guy. He had traits that as an offensive staff we were excited about and we wanted to work with them. We were thrilled to get him in the undrafted process.”
In his career (36 games total in three seasons with Florida and one at Arkansas), Franks finished with 6,610 yards, 55 touchdowns, 21 interceptions and a 61.4% completion percentage.
We’ll catch a better glimpse at what he brings to the table on Friday when the Falcons take on the Tennessee Titans for their pre-season opener.