The Falcons are preparing for the club’s second preseason contest against the Bengals on Friday, in which the starters are expected to get some run. It’s the first time we’ll get a glance at the new-look roster, led by Desmond Ridder. Final 53-man rosters are due on August 29th, so we still have some time to assess the current state in Atlanta. It’s time for my second Falcons roster projection; the first is here and can be compared to this version. Injuries are piling up for the team, so this one will look different than the first.
I kept just two on my first roster projection, but fans need to get used to the Falcons and every other club possibly carrying three quarterbacks. The league’s new quarterback rule enables teams to keep a third, allowing the emergency signal caller to be dressed and available to play without counting against the 48-man game day roster limit.
I still don’t think the Falcons take advantage. The 49ers’ disastrous situation has been well documented; however, if the Falcons are down to Logan Woodside, there’s no hope. Might as well have Bijan Robinson under center.
Logan Woodside is likely to remain on the practice squad, though. He and Arthur Smtih have worked together for several years dating back to their time with the Titans. Moreover, Woodside looked excellent during the Falcons first exhibition contest against the Dolphins.
In my first roster projection, this was the group I had, even before the injury news of Feleipe Franks. Who knows whether or not the former collegiate quarterback would’ve made the roster had he been healthy? For now, the group is unchanged.
Drake London, Mack Hollins, and Scotty Miller are all locks. The others are fighting for roster spots via special teams.
In my first projection, I had the Falcons keeping Hodge, Hart, and Darby because of their value in the game’s third phase. Hodge is probably the team’s best special teamer, and Hart is a skilled punt returner.
However, Darby has been waived. With him out of the picture, I went with Ali, but your guess is as good as mine here. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons rolled with five wideouts instead of six.
The Falcons’ offensive line is severely thin. Matt Hennessy and Ethan Greenridge were in line to be the first reserves off the bench. Hennessy would be the swing interior lineman and Greenridge as the swing tackle. Now, there’s no telling who is going to make it.
Andrew Norwell, Dalton Risner, and Gabe Jackson are free agent options, but swing tackle is the more pressing issue, and there aren’t any worthwhile free agents available. I expect the last couple of roster spots here to be occupied by players that are currently on rosters but will be cut by August 29th. For now, I’ll leave it at eight offensive linemen, but it will be nine going into Week 1.
The first edition had six cornerbacks with Armstrong left off, but keeping only eight offensive linemen enables me to keep him in this one. With injuries to Okduah and Hughes, the Falcons are dangerously close to being in a tough spot at cornerback. So, why not add a little insurance?