Jonathan Massaquoi was drafted with the intention of developing him slowly. He was the perfect Mike Nolan athletic prototype coming out, but he was very raw as a player his rookie season. It led to very few snaps along the line and even less production as a rookie.
As a second-year player, he started to develop as a multiple defender, showing talent as both a 3-4 outside linebacker in some sets and a 4-3 defensive end in others. The Falcons got great run-stuffing production out of him and some solid pressure.
However, he really needs to step up his game as a pass-rusher. And this season should give him the perfect storm of outside factors to show he’s not a project anymore. Bryan Cox as his defensive line coach and Mark Collins working with him as an outside linebackers coach should help develop his game.
Add in bigger defensive linemen either in front of him or right next to him who can eat double-teams and free him up to attack more one-on-one situations, and Massaquoi could be primed to break out with a double-digit-sack season.
Stage of development: ready.
All stats used are from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN.com, CFBStats or NFL.com. All combine and pro day info is courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, college football, the NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.