The Falcons haven’t had a 1,000-yard running back in over five seasons. So, the team snagged BYU’s Tyler Allgeier in the fifth round to potentially plug a gigantic hole in its running back room that currently features the uninspiring cast of Cordarrelle Patterson, Damien Williams, and Qadree Ollison.
After making the team as a walk-on and then playing an entire season at linebacker, Allgeier returned to running back in 2020 alongside Zach Wilson. As a redshirt sophomore, he rushed for 1,130 yards and 13 touchdowns on only 150 carries.
Then, he upped his game with Wilson no longer by his side in 2021. He registered a BYU single-season record of 1,601 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns on 276 carries. He also improved his game speed and had 40 rushes of 10 or more yards.
Allgeier looks like the prototypical zone rusher with his one-cut rushing ability and capacity to make the early defender miss. He’s also a physical runner who consistently breaks a tackle or two on each run.
The BYU product is a dependable pass-catcher (doubled his reception total his final season) who could play a three-down role. Plus, he even excels in pass protection. While he lacks an initial burst and breakaway speed (4.60 40-yd dash), the 224 lb horse has the ability to truck opposing defenders and make plays at the second level.
He’ll get a chance to make early noise with the Falcons.
FIT WITH THE FALCONS
If you thought last year’s Falcons were one of the league’s most inefficient offenses, they’ll replicate that this season. In 2021, they averaged a pathetic 85.4 rushing yards per game (only behind the Texans) and had the fourth-lowest total yardage in the league.
“He’s a great football player — certainly he’ll be in that room,” Arthur Smith said about Allgeier. “We love his yards after contact. Love the mental makeup. Think he’s a guy that should come in here, if he’s not contributing on first, second down right away — he’s a guy that hopefully helps us on third down.”
The Falcons didn’t spend quality draft capital on a running back, but they felt content cutting fantasy bust Mike Davis with the rubbish that was behind him. So, while the head coach seems to believe Allgeier might not be able to carry the rock on early downs right now, his skill-set drips upside because of how open this backfield is at this point of the off-season.
“He’s been a productive player, but this season it went to another level,” Falcons GM Terry Fontenot said about Allgeier. “If you’re smart and tough and you’re going to work at your craft and take the coaching — you’re going to continue to improve. Same thing on fourth down. Regardless of how much guys did in college — you’re going to project to do well in those areas.”
Even if Allgeier does not start the season at the top of the depth chart, fantasy managers should expect him to eventually get his chance. Last season, Patterson led the group with 618 rushing yards on 153 carries. It’s tough to expect a career gadget guy to get a true workhorse running back role and no one should believe in the ghost of Damien Williams — who was given 40 carries in 12 games with the Bears last season.
Led by Marcus Mariota and potentially Desmond Ridder, the talent on the Falcons offense is not where it needs to be to make noise this season. Expect Allgeier to get his chance early and often during his rookie season.
RSJ RANKINGS SUMMARY
I personally don’t buy Patterson or Williams as legitimate running backs in 2022, so I might be higher on Allgeier than The Wolf and the other fantasy football experts. The former Cougar will bring toughness, quickness, and youthful upside to a very below-average depth chart, which should get him on the field relatively quickly.
“I think they want a north and south back who can make quick cuts when they need to,” Allgeier told Falcons media. “I think I fit the program pretty well.”
The Wolf’s 2022 Fantasy Rankings & Big Board – 165 OVR (+43 vs ECR), RB53 (+12)
The Wolf’s Dynasty Rankings – Check back for the next update
The Wolf’s 2022 Rookie Rankings – 29 OVR (-3)