NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Falcons RB Avery Williams is making the move to running back after being drafted in the fifth round as a cornerback out of Boise State in 2021.

“I was all for it,” Williams said, via Scott Bair of the team website. “The staff understands and I understand that my gift to the team starts on special teams. That will always be a priority. That’s how I’m going to make an impact and help us win games. However I can maximize my skill set and help the team even more, that’s a bonus. Making the switch to offense, I took no issue with that. I love it. I embrace it. I’m pretty excited about it.”

Falcons RB coach Michael Pitre and ST coordinator Marquise Williams both commented on him making the switch and working with special teams.

“He’s an extremely hard worker,” Pitre said. “I don’t know you’ll find anyone who puts more into the scheme and knowing what all 11 guys are doing. He’s coachable, wanting to know how to do it better instead of asking if it was good enough. His transition has been going pretty well.”

“Vision, ball security, elusiveness, all those things will help him on the offensive side,” Marquice Williams said. “He also has an edge to him from being a defender. He also knows how defenders want to attack ball carriers and he can use that against the opposition. I think he’ll continue to grow and get better at that position. We’re all excited to see how he does playing there.


  • David Newton of ESPN could see second-year WR Terrace Marshall Jr. being a breakout player behind WRs D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson given his “explosiveness” has reemerged after dealing with lower leg and ankle injuries in college. 
  • Doug Kyed of ProFootballFocus thinks the Panthers should move to acquire Browns QB Baker Mayfield in order to give Carolina a “much higher ceiling this season.”


  • Mike Triplett of ESPN could see second-year DB Bryce Thompson being a breakout player given he got time with the first- and second-team defenses so far this offseason. 
  • Triplett adds that Thompson’s versatility as safety, cornerback and nickelback could earn him a larger role in 2022. 
  • Doug Kyed of ProFootballFocus thinks it would make sense for the Saints to acquire Browns RB Kareem Hunt if Cleveland opts to keep D’Ernest Johnson.
  • Kyed also points out that New Orleans is bracing for Alvin Kamara to be suspended.
  • Saints DE Payton Turner announced that he’s cleared and ready to return for training camp: “It’s been a long road to recovery,” Turner wrote. “I had a pretty major shoulder surgery last November and didn’t have quite the rookie year I wanted but shoutout to everybody that’s stayed down with me and helped me get to this point, blessed to say I’ve been CLEARED.” (PFT)

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