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Atlanta Falcons unveil new role for former Arkansas, Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks

Sam Gillenwater06/10/22
Article written by:On3 imageSam Gillenwater

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David J. Griffin | Icon Sportswire

After going undrafted in 2021, Feleipe Franks was signed by the Atlanta Falcons. Franks had just three touches for six yards during his nine games last year, but that didn’t stop him from soaking in what he could at the NFL level. He shared the quarterback room with former MVP Matt Ryan and former Top-10 pick Josh Rosen. He earned his way into being the Atlanta backup QB by seasons end.

Head coach Arthur Smith has now turned Franks’ position on its head. During the Falcons OTAs heading into their minicamp, Franks has been taking reps at tight end. It isn’t completely unfamiliar territory as he had tight end and special teams reps last season. Still, it’s a change up for a player who remains a part of the Falcon’s QB room.

“Feleipe is still working in that (meeting) room,” said Smith via the Atlanta Constitution-Journal. “He’s a valuable football player for us. He’ll take some reps at quarterback. Put Feleipe in that hybrid category.”

In four college seasons, Franks was a dynamic SEC quarterback for both Florida and Arkansas. He threw for 6,700 yards and 55 touchdowns as a Gator and Razorback. Before dislocating his ankle as a junior, he rushed for 350 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore.

There is versatility in Franks’ game and Atlanta is taking advantage of it. It’s comparable to what Taysom Hill’s role can look like with the Saints. Hill took snaps as a quarterback, wide receiver and tight end in one of the more unique roles in the NFL. While they may have an idea of how they want to utilize Franks, even Atlanta is still determining what he can be.

“Right now, it doesn’t mean that doesn’t change, but right now he’s working more at tight end than quarterback. But, he also is a quarterback,” said Falcons OC Dave Ragone.

Marcus Mariota or Desmond Ridder will expect to be the Week 1 starter in Atlanta this season. With that said, that doesn’t mean Franks can’t be creative in how he gets onto the field. While he does, he’ll continue to look for a role he can consistently play in as the Falcon’s offseason continues.