If you haven’t read the methodology for the scoring system I came up with, you should check that out right now by clicking here.
The 33rd-ranked player on the list is defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi.
Total Score: 35
Player Grade: 49 out of 100
Teams he could start for: 0 out of 32
Teams he is best position player: 0 out of 32
Teams he could find role on: 7 out of 32
Peak-Year Bonus: +3
Positional Bonus: +4
As you can see, I gave Massaquoi a fairly good player grade, ranking roughly average league-wide. But the issue for him is that he is largely untested, so it’s hard to see him being a significant role player on a number of other teams that have more tested and proven players in their defensive end rotation. While Massaquoi also would have the added bonus of potentially being able to play outside linebacker for a number of 3-4 teams elsewhere in the league, he would simply be a backup and unlike most 4-3 teams, most 3-4 teams don’t feature a heavy rotation at outside linebacker. Thus his role would be largely riding the pine for them.
Massaquoi is a player that has potential, but at this point because he’s only in his second year in the league and hasn’t really showcased that potential yet on the field so he can’t really receive a higher grade. His grade is also hurt slightly from the fact that he’s already 25 years old, and the peak potential for a non-elite edge rusher appears to be around age 32. That means the Falcons still have the potential to get another 7 years of strong production from him if he does develop.
Massaquoi impressed me as a sophomore at Troy, where he looked to be a dynamic edge rusher. But he added muscle his junior season and got up to around 260 pounds and just didn’t play with the same burst and explosion. He’s currently listed at 264 pounds, and the hope is that he is now more suited to carrying that weight. He’ll be counted upon to be a significant part of the Falcons pass rush rotation as he heads into training camp expecting to be the team’s third option behind starters Osi Umenyiora and Kroy Biermann. He should get into the mix in nickel situations, although he’s going to have to be exceptional to pull either starter off the field on a consistent basis. But Massaquoi can at the very least make his bones on special teams, where he was surprisingly solid last year once he started to getting reps there following the release of Ray Edwards.
In the end, I think the Falcons envision him being the top candidate to replace Osi two years from now if he can continue to progress and develop. Whether he turns into a double-digit sack guy will be a tall order, but if he develops into a player that can at least garner 6-8 sacks a season will be a major win for the Falcons. Of the Falcons backup defensive ends, I think he possesses the most potential to develop into a reliable contributor if not a starter.