Atlanta Falcons: Players On the Bubble For 53 Man Roster

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The Atlanta Falcons depth chart against the Jacksonsville Jaguars has been released yesterday, per AJC.com

While the 75 man roster cut was done and over with on Tuesday, the Falcons must go through yet another and much harder cutting phrase. All teams must have their 53 man roster turned in to the NFL by August 31st.

While players such as Jon Asamoah or Roddy White are safe, there are some borderline players on the fence that are trying to sneak into the roster.

Players On the Fence By Position Group:

Quarterbacks: TJ Yates, Sean Renfree 

Coming into the preseason, any fan would’ve had TJ Yates as the backup quarterback to Matt Ryan, but Sean Renfree has impressed thus far, especially against the Tennesesee Titans throwing 5/7 with 57 yards, while Yates was 2/5 with a shabby 5 yards. While it is unknown of if the Falcons will keep three quarterbacks on the roster, it is still safe to say that there will probably only be two by the start of regular season, given the talent that they hold on this side of the ball. These two will battle it out next game.

Running Backs: Maurice Hagens

Maurice Hagens is currently the backup fullback on the team. Unless he can have a very strong showing on Thursday, I doubt that he can make this roster. NFL teams just don’t keep extra fullbacks.

Wide Receivers: Eric Weems, Bernard Reedy, Freddie Martino, Geraldo Boldewijn

Eric Weems will probably be able to be put on the roster, because of his returning and special teams skills. Freddie Martino, Bernard Reedy, and Geraldo Boldewijn are three undrafted rookies just trying to make a living.

Reedy is a small receiver as 5’9, 175 pounds but was a second-team All-MAC pick after his senior season at Toledo and a first team All-MAC selection at three positions, wide receiver, punt returner, and kickoff returner as a junior. He has caught two passes for 61 yards thus far.

Martino is the one that is most likely to be cut, although his blocking skills were undeniable in preseason week one and two. He played at the Northville Greenville Crusaders and just dominated, setting an NCAA Division II record with 146 catches in 2013.

Boldewijn is the most interesting one of them all. Unlike the other two canidates, he is humongous standing at 6’4. Personally, I have no doubt in my mind that this kid should make it through the roster. His background story is intruiging, and his potential is whatever the kid wants it to be.

Tight Ends: Jacob Pedersen

“Mickey’s done a nice job,” Smith said. “In terms of catching the football, he had a big catch in the game Friday night. He had a good, athletic run after the catch. And I think him and Bear Pascoe, they’re in a very good battle for that No. 2 tight end position.

I leave Mickey Shuler out on this list because of his strong preseason/training camp before his concussion. But Jacob Pedersen is in trouble. I don’t believe the Falcons will keep four tight ends on the roster, but there is a chance. If he can prove that he has enough talent to contribute to this season, then the coaches will consider keeping him. The former Badger, 6-5, 240 pounds, finished his  collegiate career ranked seventh all-time at the University of Wisconsin with 17 touchdown receptions, the most by a tight end in school history.

Offensive Lineman: Center James Stone, Tackle Ryan Schrader

After the injuries to Sam Baker and Mike Johnson, there won’t be more than a cut or two on this rebuilding offensive line. The starters look solid this year, with Jon Asamoah leading the helm and Joe Hawley taking the leadership role (soon to be Jake Matthews). But cutting wise, only James Stone and Ryan Scrader come into my mind. Scrader was the one that had the horrendous game against the Texans, but bounced back last week. Stone has been so-s0.

 

Defensive Lineman: Jacques Smith, Tyler Starr, Donte Rumph, Nosa Eguae

Seriously, I would love the see Jacques Smith on the roster. He has pass rush capabilities, and although he was ejected from the game against the Titans due to unsportsmanlike conduct, he has fight and anger in him. Donte Rumph and Nosa Eguae seem like locks to NOT make the roster, as they already have enough depth in front of them. And Tyler Starr, the 7th round pick, will still probably be given chances in the regular season.

Linebackers: Yawin Smallwood

Yawin Smallwood is behind the proven veteran Pat Angerer, so it will be a longshot for him to sneak in to the Atlanta Falcons. So unless he’s a Ray Lewis out there against Tennessee, it’s time to pack bags.

Cornerbacks: None (Ricardo Allen will make the roster)

Safeties: Kimario McFadden, Sean Baker

If not both, at least one of these two safeties will get released. After being on the practice squad last season, Sean Baker seems ready to get some real playing time in the Georgia Dome, but he still does have competeition against Kimario McFadden. McFadden, 5-11, 197 pounds, recorded 57 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and one interception during his senior season at South Carolina State, and also racked up 4 tackles against the Miami Dolphins in the first contest. This may be the biggest battle of them all, last but not least!

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