The Atlanta Falcons’ running back group are in a interesting position. After cutting Jerome Smith today, they are left with five running backs on the roster.
There is no way that the Falcons can afford to have five runners in the 53 man roster, there’s just not enough space. But considering the amount of talent that they hold, it is almost certain they’ll keep four.
So who will be cut?
As many of you Dirty Bird Nation already know, Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers is a lock. Jackson is probably going to start, with Rodgers sharing a good amount of carries.
That leaves us with Antone Smith, Josh Vaughan, and Devonta Freemnan.
Sorry Vaughan, but it seems as if he will be the last running back to be cut.
Devonta Freeman, the fourth round draft pick of the 2014 NFL draft, is just too valuable to take away, given that he has had arguably the best preseason out of everyone so far.
It is a close cut between Vaughan and Smith, but Vaughan just didn’t show much in the preseason carrying the ball 14 times but only racking up 40 yards, a 2.9 average. And although Smith didn’t do too much better, he still had a solid season in 2013 which earns himself a spot on the roster.
Now that the cuts are talked about, this running back squad is primed for a fantastic season. The depth is there, with different styles of running offered by each back.
For example, Steven Jackson will take most of the 1st and 10, 3rd and 1 carries, but Jacquizz Rodgers will be able to provide speed by running and catching out of the backfield.
Devonta Freeman is sure to be in the mix as well, giving Rodgers and Jackson more time to breathe while another quality running back is in.