The Atlanta Falcons offseason is about to step up a gear with the start of the OTA offseason workouts. What should you look out for in these practices?
It’s possible Vic Beasley will miss the kickoff of the Falcons’ OTAs, which would mean we would have to wait before seeing more from the eighth overall pick. Brooks Reed could also sit out due to a groin injury.
Despite that, there is plenty to watch out for at crucial spots on the Falcons’ roster. The OTAs are non-contact and no pads are permitted, although helmets are. The main purpose of OTAs is to get the team together on a football field, work on technique and schemes, and importantly continue getting players ready for training camp in July.
What should we look out for in the Falcons’ OTAs?
No. 1 running back
The battle begins to be the No. 1 running back. Jacquizz Rodgers and Steven Jackson have departed, which should give second-year back Devonta Freeman an opportunity to step up. He will face competition from fourth round pick Tevin Coleman and Antone Smith — this will be an interesting battle through OTAs and training camp.
Atlanta could split the reps between Freeman and Coleman this season, per Michael David Smith of NBCSports.com, but this is still a great opportunity for one of the two to standout as a premier back.
Mike Person at left guard
Mike Person played with the first team at left guard during voluntary minicamps, and it will be interesting to see whether this trend continues through OTAs. Person spent the past two seasons at the St. Louis Rams. Is he the man to take the starting job this season, or will he be beaten out? The position is open, that’s for sure.
Dezmen Southward to cornerback
Dan Quinn has expressed his desire to move Dezmen Southward to cornerback, despite the team being thin at free safety. Southward is open to helping the team out any way he can, and maybe the Falcons have other plans at free safety. It will be interesting to see how these OTAs play out.
Free safety competition
How will Robert Alford perform? He’s coming back from a season-ending injury and will be looking to solidify his spot outside. Can he prove himself to be a starting cornerback in the base defense, or will his future be in the slot?
There’s plenty to watch out for in these OTAs. A lot has changed this offseason in Atlanta, and there are stil lots of position battles to sort out between now and the end of preseason.