Falcons Sign Backup QB, 19 Other UDFAs

Matt Ryan

Getty Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons.

That is a wrap for the 2021 NFL Draft, but the fun doesn’t necessarily end there. There are several overlooked players left without contracts and the Atlanta Falcons are known to take full advantage of these undrafted free agent signings.

Some current Falcons who have found success in the NFL are long snapper Josh Harris, wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus, and tight end Jaeden Graham.

Below is an up-to-date list of the Falcons’ current UDFA signings.

UDFA Signings

RB Javian Hawkins, Louisville
S Marcus Murphy, Mississippi State
DE Eli Howard, Texas Tech
OL Joe Sculthorpe, NC State
OT Kion Smith, Fayetteville State
DT Zac Dawe, BYU
DE Alani Pututau, Adams State
WR Antonio Nunn, Buffalo
CB JR Pace, Northwestern
RB Caleb Huntley, Ball State
OG Ryan Neuzil, Appalachian State
S Dwayne Johnson, Jr., San Diego State
OL Bryce Hargrove, Pittsburgh
DE/LB Kobe Jones, Mississippi State
LB Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State
TE John Raine, Northwestern
QB Feleipe Franks, Arkansas
OT Jack Batho IV, South Dakota School of Mines
WR Austin Trammell, Rice

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Falcons Add Top-Tier RB

In a covid-19 plagued season, Hawkins opted out after eight games and declared for the NFL draft. He ended the season as Louisville’s leading rusher, rushing for 822 yards and seven touchdowns on 133 carries to average 6.2 yards per carry.

Before becoming a redshirt freshman, Hawkins rushed just twice for eight yards. But once coach Scott Satterfield stepped in the head coaching role, the 5-foot-9, 196-pound speed back found a spark. Hawkins’ 1,525 rushing yards that 2019 season ranked seventh in the nation and broke Howard Stevens’ single-season school rushing record by a running back. It also earned him All-ACC Second-Team honors.

Hawkins should be beyond excited to join an Atlanta Falcons team that is in full running back makeover mode with Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, and Brian Hill no longer in the lineup. The Falcons backfield depth chart currently looks like Mike Davis, Qadree Ollison, Tony Brooks, and Hawkins.

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Atlanta Falcons 2021 Draft Picks

The Falcons selected a total of nine elite rookies for the 2021 NFL draft:

Round 1, pick 4 – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Round 2, pick 40 (from denver) – Richie Grant, S, UCF
Round 3, pick 68 – Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
Round 4, pick 108 – Darren Hall, CB, San Diego State
Round 4, pick 114 – Drew Dalman, C Stanford
Round 5, pick 148 – Ta’Quon Graham, DT, Texas
Round 5, pick 182 – Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DE, Notre Dame
Round 5, pick 183 – Avery Williams, CB, Boise State
Round 6, pick 187 – Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State

While many analysts projected the Falcons to take a QB with the first pick or somewhere else in the draft, that was not the case. Atlanta looked to free agency and signed veteran backup AJ McCarron and added undrafted Arkansas QB Feleipe Franks instead.

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