The Atlanta Falcons 2022 rookie draft class has been receiving high praise from head coach Arthur Smith over the past few weeks.
Most recently, Smith shined some light on rookie running back Tyler Allgeier, the Falcons’ jackpot fifth-round pick.
Allgeier entered the league following back-to-back seasons where he notched over 1,000 rushing yards at BYU. His best season yet came last fall when he logged a single-season record of 1,601 yards, 1,606 yards and 23 touchdowns on 5.8 yards per carry. He also added 28 catches for 199 receiving yards as a junior in 2021.
Despite a successful college campaign, Allegier’s draft stock fell. However, his versatility of having played on both sides of the ball and his football IQ is what caught Atlanta’s eye.
“What we were betting on Tyler is, his instincts,” Smith via Sports Illustrated. “(He’s) really, really intelligent.”
Allgeier Catching On Quickly
The college-to-NFL transition is anything but easy. However, Allgeier has made it look close to a cakewalk, impressing coach Smith along the way.
As the Falcons’ leading rusher heading in Week 11, Allgeier has recorded 443 yards on 102 attempts and a score through nine games and four starts. He has also played a role in the passing game, catching nine targets for 78 yards and another touchdown.
“He’s a guy that played other positions in college,” Smith began. “You see him in the passing game, his awareness, understanding where to settle down in zones. He’s got what I call good spatial awareness, I think that helps him. Give Tyler a lot of credit, he’s ahead of where I thought he’d be as a rookie running back, certainly in the protection aspect.”
Allgeier has also done well chipping in on third downs in pass protection, which has also not gone unnoticed by Smith.
“What’s so hard is the third down protection in the NFL,” Smith said, “All the different looks that you get, the speed – a lot of times for rookies, it takes a minute to adapt. I think Tyler’s certainly made a lot of improvement there, which I think is hard for young backs. You don’t see a ton of young backs in there on third down; I think Tyler’s done a nice job there.”
The Falcons are set to take on Chicago this Sunday at home, which is where they’ll need to utilize Allgeier as much as possible against a weak Bears run defense.