Before the Titans game Saturday I thought it appropriate to do another 53 man roster projection this time including the now 10 practice squad spots available to the team.
Jeff Matthews (PS)
At this point the backup job looks Renfree’s to lose as Yates had a horror showing in Houston. If Renfree makes the 53 I would expect the Falcons to put Matthews on the practice squad.
The first four in the depth chart are all locks to make the roster but I think rookie Jerome Smith could find a way onto the practice squad. One of the positives for Smith’s chances are that he is that big bodied, bruising runner that if Steven Jackson goes down they will not have on the roster. There are a number of bigger bodied backs who are currently on the bubble so the Falcons could potentially look to add a bigger back after camp cuts have concluded.
Going out on a bit of limb here but I think Hagens has a genuine shot of winning the battle with Dimarco. Dimarco was a solid player last year but that’s his celing, a solid but unspectacular blocker who will play a handful of snaps a game. Hagens on the other hand while he hasn’t yet shown the run blocking of Dimarco has shown his ability to be a reliable pass catching option out of the backfield.
Geraldo Boldewijn (PS)
Jeremy Ebert (PS)
Once again the top 4 on the depth chart pick themselves but after that it gets interesting. All preseason I have felt the Falcons would carry 6 receiver, 5 genuine receiving types and one special team ace who offers little on offense. With Drew Davis out injured the door seemed open for Courtney Roby to take that special teams spot. However, through two preseason games Roby has looked awful on teams and at this stage I can’t justify his spot on the 53.
Boldewijn has always been an intriguing prospect because of his size and the Falcons seem invested in the big man’s long term upside. With 10 practice squad spots now available I think the Falcons could well carry two receivers and at the moment that battle seems to be between Jeremy Ebert and Freddie Martino. At this stage I give the edge to Ebert but that could well change in the final two preseason games. Wide Receiver is another position to monitor with final cuts as the Falcons could again look to add some young receiving talent.
Jacob Pedersen (PS)
Whether the Falcons carry two or three TE’s is very much debatable at this stage and the Falcons might respect Bear Pascoe’s blocking ability to the point where they carry three TE’s. Personally I think if he recovers from his concussion Shuler has the backup TE spot won. Shuler can block but in preseason he has shown his ability to catch the ball and offer some YAC ability which no other TE on the roster can do at this point. Pederesen has seen limited reps so far in preseason but he is an all-around solid TE who if given a year on the PS could potentially develop into a useful piece.
Terren Jones (PS)
With Sam Bakers injury I now have Peter Konz sticking around for another year. Gunn probably wont be active on gamedays (he should be) but he is a good backup at both Guard and Centre. Carimi is extremely versatile and as long as he’s ready to go week 1 I pretty much guarantee his spot on the 53. Schraeder and Jones are probably battling it out for the last spot and even though he has struggled so far in preseason I expect Schraeder to ultimately win that battle with Jones going onto the practice squad.
Not many surprises with this group, the only real question mark being if Peters will be ready to go week 1 or not.
Tyler Starr (PS)
Once again no major shocks hers. I expect the Falcons to carry 5 outside guys on the 53 while the loser of the Smith/Starr battle will have a spot on the PS. At this point it looks as though Smith has the upper hand.
Yawin Smallwood (PS)
The top 3 are all locks for the roster but after that the inside linebacker spot looks up in the air. The Falcons could well carry 5 inside guys and take a guy like Tim Dobbins but so far Dobbins has shown nothing to suggest he deserves a spot on this team. Smallwood has been quiet all camp but the Falcons will stash him for a year and hope he develops into a nice backup next season.
Jordan Mabin (PS)
Trufant and Alford are the starters and it looks as though Wilson has locked up the starting nickel spot. McClain will make the 53 due to his experience and versatility. Arenas has been a bit hot and cold but hes shown enough to stick around. Allen will make the roster as the 6th corner. Mabin and Devonta Glover-Wright are probably battling it out for a PS spot and as of right now Mabin seems to have the upper hand.
Kimario McFadden (PS)
The top 4 all look like locks for the roster, with Lowery’s injury history the Falcons will carry 5 safeties on the roster. McFadden has shown flashes all preseason and deserves to lock up the final PS spot.
Matt Bryant (K)
Matt Bosher (P)
Josh Harris (LS)
Tags: Atlanta Falcons