Arthur Smith Not Afraid to Throw Rookie Into the Fire in Week 1

Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith isn't afraid to throw a rookie into the fire in Week 1.
Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith isn't afraid to throw a rookie into the fire in Week 1. / Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons' offensive line has taken a few hits this offseason. Matt Gono is currently out after having surgery and Josh Andrews was just placed on IR. Atlanta recently picked up some depth to help out, but they'll run out a front five that likely wasn't in their initial plans.

That starting O-line could include Jalen Mayfield, and head coach Arthur Smith has no reservations about throwing the rookie into the fire.

Smith said frankly that "everybody's gotta get baptized at some point" when asked about Mayfield starting in Week 1. The rookie would be tasked with protecting Matt Ryan from six-time Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox, but the head coach doesn't seem to have any worries.

Every first-year player has a "welcome to the NFL" moment, and it appears Mayfield's may come against a Super Bowl champ.

To his credit, it speaks to Mayfield's talent right now that he's in position to start. He was a third-round pick by Atlanta after a standout sophomore year at Michigan.

The Falcons are 3.5-point favorites over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.