A look at the Falcons post-draft depth chart

DKB221016019 sfo vs atl

The Falcons hauled in a six-man draft class in addition to a six-man undrafted free agent class, bringing their roster total to 89. Over the course of the next couple of months, the club will remove 37 players to get to a 53-man roster, which will be much more difficult than in years past, given the competition across the depth chart. This is a completely different roster, so let’s take a look at the Falcons’ post-draft depth chart:

Quarterbacks (3)

1. Desmond Ridder
2. Taylor Heinicke
3. Logan Woodside

The Falcons are rolling with Desmond Ridder, as the regime stated throughout the offseason. Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Jackson, Anthony Richardson, C.J. Stroud, and whoever else the national media concocted won’t be playing in Atlanta.

Logan Woodside will likely act as a practice squad emergency reserve. The Falcons have surrounded Ridder with more than enough talent to be successful in 2023. Bijan Robinson and Matthew Bergeron solidified the offense with Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and the rest of the starting offensive line returning.

Running Backs (7)

1. Bijan Robinson
2. Tyler Allgeier
3. Cordarrelle Patterson
4. Caleb Huntley
5. Avery Williams
6. Carlos Washington Jr.
7. B.J. Baylor

Bijan Robinson is the immediate starter and is a homerun threat every time he touches the ball; expect him to assume the bulk of the touches out of this group. Allgerier will remain a key contributor in the offense, taking the other portion of the carries. Patterson’s carries will undoubtedly decline, but his role in the offense will expand as a pass catcher. Caleb Huntley will likely start the season on the PUP list, and Avery Williams will certainly make this roster.

Fullbacks (2)

1. Keith Smith
2. Clint Ratkovich

Keith Smith is entering his 10th season and will be an important player in this offense and on special teams.

Wide Receivers (11)

1. Drake London
2. Mack Hollins
3. Scotty Miller
4. KhaDarel Hodge
5. Frank Darby
6. Jared Bernhardt
7. Josh Ali
8. Ra’Shaun Henry
9. Xavier Malone
10. Justin Marshall
11. Keilahn Harris

The Falcons’ wide receiver room is bleak. Drake London hauled in 72 catches last year, so expect a similar role in 2023. I imagine he’ll lead the entire team in receiving, including Kyle Pitts. Mack Hollins recorded 57 receptions, but the production after them falls off a cliff. A free agent addition like Corey Davis, if the Jets part ways with him, would solidify this group. Justin Marshall is a guy to watch this training camp.

Tight Ends (7)

1. Kyle Pitts
2. Jonnu Smith
3. Parker Hesse
4. Feleipe Franks
5. John FitzPatrick
6. John Raine
7. Tucker Fisk

Kyle Pitts returns healthy after a lackluster 2022 campaign that ended prematurely after suffering a torn MCL. Pitts has to produce more, and the change at quarterback should facilitate that. Jonnu Smith comes over via trade from the Patriots and re-joins his former offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith. During his time in Tennessee, Smith put up his best numbers, totaling 448 yards and eight touchdowns in 2020. The Feleipe Franks experiment continues; who knows what the Falcons will do with him.

Offensive Tackles (6)

1. Jake Matthews 
2. Kaleb McGary 
3. Germain Ifedi
4. Tyler Vrabel
5. Joshua Miles
6. Ethan Greenidge

The Falcons return their two starters in Matthews and McGary. The swing tackle position is up for grabs.

Interior Offensive Linemen (10)

1. Chris Lindstrom 
2. Drew Dalman 
3. Matthew Bergeron
4, Matt Hennessy
5. Ryan Neuzil
6. Jalen Mayfield
7. Justin Shaffer
8. Jovaughn Gwyn
9. Jonotthan Harrison
10. Kyle Hinton

The Falcons return two of three starters along the interior and potentially add Matthew Bergeron to form a menacing guard duo.

Defensive Linemen (10)

1. Grady Jarrett
2. Calais Campbell
3. David Onyemata
4. Ta’Quon Graham
5. Eddie Goldman
6. Timmy Horne
7. Zach Harrison
8. Joe Gaziano
9. Jalen Dalton
10. Ikenna Enechukwu

There isn’t a single position group that looks more different than the defensive line. Jarrett finally gets some help in the former of Campbell, Onyemata, and Goldman. This will be one of the most competitive training camp position battles.

Outside Linebackers (6)

1. Lorenzo Carter
2. Bud Dupree
3. Arnold Ebiketie
4. Ade Ogundeji
5. DeAngelo Malone
6. David Anenih

The Falcons will likely keep five players here, even if Ogundeji hasn’t developed just yet.

Inside Linebackers (7)

1. Troy Andersen
2. Kaden Elliss
3. Mykal Walker
4. Dorian Etheridge
5. Tae Davis
6. Nate Landman
7. Mike Jones Jr.

Anderson and Elliss will assume all of the starting snaps, but the Falcons might have to add to this group. Mykal Walker wasn’t inspiring in a full-time role last year under Dean Pees, but maybe Ryan Nielsen can bring something out of him. Kyle Van Noy can provide veteran leadership and do a lot of the same things Elliss can do.

Cornerbacks (10)

1. A.J. Terrell
2. Jeff Okudah
3. Mike Hughes
4. Clark Phillips III
5. Darren Hall
6. Dee Alford
7. Cornell Armstrong
8. Matt Hankins
9. John Reid
10. Javelin Guidry

Terrell finally has more help with Okudah, Hughes, and Phillips joining the corner room. There’s no telling who is going to come out of camp as the starter. Hughes will compete with Phillips to man the slot, while Okudah will likely assume the boundary opposite of Terrell.

Safeties (7)

1. Jessie Bates III
2. Richie Grant
3. Jaylinn Hawkins
4. DeMarcco Hellams
5. Micah Abernathy
6. Dylan Mabin
7. Jamal Peters

Bates was the star of the Falcons free agent class, solidifying the backend of the  defense. Grant will start next to him, with Hawkins as the first reserve and potential starter in big nickel packages.

Specialists (3)

K Younghoe Koo
Bradley Pinion
LS Liam McCullough

All of these guys are returning from 2022.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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