Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Now that training camp has reached its first natural break I thought I would put together a quick 53 man roster projection for the Falcons.
These two are pretty much locks for the 53 man roster baring injury. Expect Renfree and Matthews to battle it out for the practice squad spot.
Before the news broke on Steven Jackson’s injury I would have said the Falcons would only take 4 RB’s but with Jackson now somewhat of a question mark I think the Falcons take a backup ‘pounder’ on the 53. To make room for this extra back the Falcons don’t take a conventional FB but hope Jerome Smith can become that Jason Snelling utility back.
Toilolo and Pascoe look almost certain to make the team whereas the third TE spot looks up in the air (the Falcons may not even take three TE’s). Pedersen will ultiateky win the battle with Shuler because of his verastlotyu as a pass cathcher and his ability to line up in-line, in the slot or in the backfield as a H back.
The top 4 receivers are no brainer but the last two spots look very competitive. With the Falcons promising more 4 WR sets I see the Falcons taking 6 receivers on the roster this year with the sixth guy being perhaps more of a pass catcher than a special teams ace. Because of his injury I think the Falcons cut ties with Drew Davis and replace him with ST ace Courtney Roby. Bernard Reedy makes the roster with the last WR spot.
The Falcons give Lamar Holmes one last chance to prove himself, Schrader is a nice project tackle who showed enough upside last year to warrant a place on the roster over Mike Johnson.
The Falcons will value Carimi’s ability to backup 4 of the 5 spots on the o-line and as a result he makes the team.
Like Carimi Gunn is able to backup all three interior spots on the line and as a result he beats out fan favorite Peter Konz who sees his tenure with the Falcons end abruptly.
Before camp I wouldn’t have included Robertson but it sounds like he has been destructive in camp and so at this time I see him making the 53 as the backup NT in the 34.
No surprises here, all five of these player are pretty much roster locks, the only questuionm mark would be if Peters doesn’t make it off the PUP list before week 1 but the word from camp is Peters is pretty much 100% and ready to go.
Debated including Tyler Starr here but ultimately I think the Falcons give him a year on the PS to sit and learn. Maponga was a guy who heading into this year I thought would be cut but he’s been impressive through OTA’s and training camp.
Dobbins and Angerer will fight for a roster spot but Angerer’s injury history may stop him from making the 53 while ultimately Smallwood’s upside sees him beat out journeyman Dobbins.
The battle for the slot corner is a good one and ultimately I see McClain winning that battle. Arenas becomes the odd man out here as the Falcons favor the experienced Wilson who can backup both the slot and outside positions.
These two are both locks for the roster. Southward is a physical specimen but needs a year to sit and learn about the intricacies of playing safety in the NFL.
Ishmael is good special teamer and a solid backup and he becomes the primary backup at both safety positions.
Matt Bryant (K)
Matt Bosher (P)
Josh Harris (LS)
Barring a major shock I see all three of these player coming back this year although it could well be Bryant’s last year in the NFL.