I’m counting down the top 40 players on the Atlanta Falcons, and let’s continue with 39th-ranked player: defensive end Malliciah Goodman.
To read the methodology I devised to rank the Falcons players, click here.
Total Score: 40/100
Last year’s rank: 34
Player Grade: 49/100
Teams he is starter: 3 out of 32
Teams he is best position player: 0 out of 32
Teams he is role player: 14 out of 32
Peak-Year Bonus: +4
Positional Bonus: +3
Goodman just missed the cut last year, as he finished 34th in my rankings. While it would appear he fell in the rankings this year, that has more to do with the Falcons doing a better job filling in the back-end of their roster rather than because Goodman is somehow worse.
Goodman has the potential to really climb these rankings this season. While he’s not expected to be a starter, he should earn significant reps in the team’s defensive line rotation. Jonathan Babineaux is getting up in age and the Falcons will need to find ways of keeping him fresh in 2014. Goodman is likely to be a big factor in their endeavors to do so.
The bulk of Goodman’s playing time a year ago came in the second half of the season when the team went for a youth movement on defense. After averaging just 10.6 snaps per game over the first five games, that number increased to 28 over the final nine games. It’s likely that Goodman’s playing time at the outset of 2014 will be closer to the latter figure.
Goodman flashed good ability as a run defender, although his pass-rushing was sporadic. It’s unlikely that will change much this year, as he has reportedly bulked up to over 290 pounds. That weight gain won’t help him add any quickness, but does mean that he should be better holding the point of attack as a five-technique defensive end when the team goes to a three-man front. Long-term, that will be Goodman’s role, and he is well suited to be the long-term replacement for Tyson Jackson at one of the end spots.