Roddy White, Wide Receiver
Ever since the Falcons drafted Julio Jones with the 6th overall pick in 2011, the wide receiving core for the Falcons has been top notch. The tandem of Julio Jones and Roddy White was initially nearly impossible to stop. However, White has significantly regressed over the last couple of seasons. In 2013, he only caught 63 balls for 711 yards in 13 games. He followed that up with a 80 catch season for 921 yards in 14 games the next year. The receiver out of UAB did not miss a game in his first 8 seasons in the NFL, but has had several nagging injuries over the last two seasons.These injuries are ones that come with age, and have not only been able to keep White off the field, but have also clearly affected him while playing. He will be turning 34 during this season, and there is no doubt the Falcons should be looking for a young receiver to eventually take White’s place as the #2 receiver on the team already. White is signed through the year 2017 and is set to make around $6 million in 2016. If he does not improve on his numbers from last season, do not expect to see this Falcons legend in a Falcons uniform in 2016.
Robert Alford, Cornerback
Robert Alford was the Falcons’ second round pick in 2013. Unlike the Falcon’s first round pick in 2013, Desmond Trufant, Alford has not performed like an all-pro corner in his first two seasons in the NFL. He has started opposite Trufant in both seasons and shown flashes of brilliance, but has been far from consistent enough to deserve a starting cornerback spot in the NFL. The Falcons selected Jalen Collins in the second round of this year’s NFL draft. Collins was not stellar at LSU, but he his big, physical and unbelievably talented. Quinn loves big physical cornerbacks (take a look at Seattle) and did not draft Collins in the second round to sit on the bench. Alford is only due around $900k next season, so it is unlikely he will be cut, but if his game does not improve he will be replaced on the field.
Paul Worrilow, Linebacker
Paul Worrilow was signed by the Falcons in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of Delaware. Warrilow shocked Falcons coaches with his hard work and talent and not only earned a spot on the team, but became a starting inside linebacker on the team. Warrilow has seemingly impressed by recording over 270 tackles for the Falcons, but the metrics seem to say otherwise. According to ProFootballFocus, Warrilow was ranked as the 59th inside linebacker in the NFL overall out of 60. The Falcons also added much needed linebacker help this offseason. Former Texans’ Brooks Reed and Cowboys’ Justin Durant were signed this offseason to help bolster one of the weakest linebacking cores in the NFL last season. Worrilow has the work ethic, but might be lacking the talent to be an every down linebacker in the NFL. The numbers do not lie, and if he does not improve this season, he will not be starting for the Falcons with Quinn at the helm.