6 Roster Spots Where the Atlanta Falcons Could Add Depth Before Opening Day

Who could the Falcons go after to compete for the swing tackle position?
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The Atlanta Falcons are already starting on their roster cuts and will need to bring in the best talent they can to make a run at an NFC South title in 2023. There are some obvious spots that there just wasn't enough good quality depth during the preseason. Those include spots like swing tackle, wide receiver and depth at off-ball linebacker. Those could also include spots that seem like obvious strengths like interior offensive lineman, running back and the interior defensive line, but are lacking depth behind the very talented starters.

In 2022, the Falcons brought in Matt Dickerson and Chuma Edoga through the waiver wire to supplement the roster. In 2023, Atlanta will have some options available to them through the waiver wire after cuts are all finalized on August 29th, and don't be surprised when they make some claims to fill out the roster.. After analyzing the roster, these are the spots the Falcons should and potentially could look at for added depth from the waiver wire.

With each position, there'll be potential options listed. Now, keep in mind, some of these are just guys who could potentially be cut by their teams and are not guaranteed to be available. And while they would all upgrade the bottom of the roster, another team could look into these players for a bigger role than the Falcons could provide.

Interior Defensive Line

Potential Options: Mike Purcell (Broncos), Neville Gallimore (Cowboys), Javon Kinlaw (49ers)

While the Falcons have a lot of depth on the defensive line at this time with Calais Campbell, Grady Jarrett and David Onyemata headlining the group and talented and promising reserves Zach Harrison and Ta'Quon Graham, adding additional depth behind those five is never a bad idea. There were some standouts for the team in the preseason like Albert Huggins or Timmy Horne or Joe Gaziano, the Falcons could look outside of the roster for the sixth man in the rotation on the interior.

The options listed are just a couple of ideas, and the best of those is former first round pick Javon Kinlaw. He could be a similar pickup to what Jeff Okudah was in the spring in terms of giving someone a second chance. Neville Gallimore and Mike Purcell both could play the interior 3-technique or the edge-adjacent 5-technique if they get released by their current teams as potential options for the Falcons, where Kinlaw would play more of a 1-technique or 3-technique rotating in with Onyemata, Graham and Jarrett. The Falcons have a good unit now, but adding talent is always important.

Running Back

Potential Options: LeMichael Perine (Chiefs), Matt Brieda (Giants), Zonovan Knight (Jets)

Atlanta has arguably the best top three running backs in the NFL with Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson on the roster. However, Patterson is dealing with an injury and could end up missing a couple games early in the year. The Falcons could stick with Godwin Igwebuike as a depth guy for a couple of weeks until Patterson is healthy again as someone to play running back and return kicks for them. Or they could go out and sign someone who is comparable at running back, but use someone else at the kick return spot.

LeMichael Perine might feel redundant to a guy like Tyler Allgeier stylistically, but he'd be a perfect fit for the Falcons backfield if he's cut. Matt Brieda has experience as a kick returner on top of his all-around running back abilities that compares well to Patterson. And Zonovan Knight had a couple of good games for the Jets in 2022, but if he's cut because of the Dalvin Cook addition and Breece Hall getting healthy, he could be on the Falcons radar for 2023.

Interior Offensive Lineman

Potential Options: Ben Cleveland (Ravens), Kendrick Green (Steelers), Alec Lindstrom (Cowboys)

The Falcons have their starters completely set with second-round draft pick Matthew Bergeron starting at left guard, Drew Dalman at center and Chris Lindstrom at right guard. Ryan Neuzil looks like a highly competent center backup, guard could be addresed. They could just roll with Kyle Hinton or Jonotthan Harrison as the primary backup guard, the Falcons would be much better off bringing in some additional help from outside the team.

Ben Cleveland could be cut by the Ravens with the interest of them trying to put him on the practice squad, but the Falcons could claim him off waivers in that case and use him as a swing guard. There was some thought in 2021 that Cleveland should have been the third round pick over Jalen Mayfield, and that was proven right by the Falcons having to cut Mayfield this year. Atlanta could also consider bringing in Alec Lindstrom to team with his brother to see if he can provide better results than their current backups. Kendrick Green could also be an option if he's cut by the Steelers.


Potential Options: Jalen Reeves-Maybin (Lions), Christian Kirksey (Texans), Mack Wilson (Patriots)

The biggest spot the Falcons could use some depth is at off-ball linebacker. They have their starters and primary backup settled with Troy Andersen, Kaden Elliss and Nate Landman. The current players competing for the fourth linebacker spot on the roster are Tae Davis, Andre Smith, Mike Jone and USFL defensive player of the year Frank Ginda. Atlanta doesn't really have a case to keep multiple of those whether practice squad or other considering middling performance in the preseason. Adding an upgraded fourth linebacker would help both the defense and special teams units.

There's some very solid fits that could be potentially cut for the Falcons new defense, but Christian Kirksey from the Texans would be the smartest option for potential starting capable player. He has experience in similar schemes and would be a veteran to help mentor the young group. Mack Wilson would be someone who is young and talented that would be able to be the fourth linebacker on the roster and be an ideal candidate for special teams units. Wilson was a starter for the Crimson Tide. Jalen Reeves-Maybin is also someone who could be an option if cut.

Swing Tackle

Potential Options: La'El Collins (Bengals), Chim Okorafor (Vikings), Max Mitchell (Jets)

Jalen Mayfield was cut and the Falcons really don't have any competent options at tackle outside of the starters Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary. Josh Miles, Tyler Vrabel, Barry Wesley and Trevor Reid are the players who have been competing with Mayfield for the swing tackle spot. During the preseason, it was very obvious that the Falcons would have to replace these guys with a better option to have a real shot at depth at swing tackle in 2023.

Options that the Falcons could look at would include La'El Collins—who is currently on the Bengals physically unable to perform list, and Chim Okorafor. Okorafor makes a lot of sense because of the similarities between the Falcons scheme and what the Bengals like to run. Max Mitchell could also be an option should the Jets decide that they don't want to keep him because of the additions of Billy Turner and Carter Warren during the 2023 offseason.

Wide Receiver

Potential Options: Denzel Mims (Lions), Anthony Schwartz (Browns), Hakeem Butler (Steelers)

The Falcons have three wide receivers who are guaranteed spots in Drake London, Mack Hollins and KhaDarel Hodge. But even then, they still have Scotty Miller, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Penny Hart and Josh Ali competing for those last two or three wide receiver spots on the roster. There's also a lot of reasons to look to upgrade the roster at wide receiver due to the lack of experienced production from this group. If the Falcons do decide to let go of someone like Miller, there would be a speed question at the position, though.

Guys like Denzel Mims from the Lions or Anthony Schwartz from the Browns could be the right solutions to replace the kind of speed Miller would take with him should he be cut. They also would add some more size to the position while adding that same kind of speed. Mims also has the potential to have a shot at the starting lineup with some work behind Mack Hollins. Hakeem Butler was an XFL receiving leader during his time in that league and could be the kind of out of the box move that Falcons General Manager Terry Fontenot would make to help build the roster.

All advanced stats are courtesy Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders. All traditional stats are courtesy of official team websites, NFLGSIS or CFB Stats. All RAS and athletic testing numbers are courtesy of DraftScout.com and Kent Lee Platte's RAS Football website.