Atlanta Falcons 53-man roster projection


Training camp is in full swing for the NFL, and the Falcons are grinding in the Georgia heat at Flowery Branch. With a few more weeks until final cuts come, I figured it was time for a way-to-early 53-man roster projection. I’ll be doing a few of these and tweaking them as I go!


Quarterback (2) | Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke

This one is simple. Two quarterbacks are only needed. The 49ers reminded everyone of what could happen, which would be a receiver taking snaps as signal caller. Still, if these guys go down, the Falcons have no hope.

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. However, the league did bring back the emergency quarterback rule in response to the fiasco that the Niners dealt with. Still, I’m not keeping Woodside on the 53-man.

Running back (3) | Bijan Robinson, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tyler Allgeier

Like a lot of these positions, this one is straightforward. The Falcons will keep these three and use a running back by committee.

Full back (1) | Keith Smith

Keith Smith is one of the most undervalued members of the team. The 10-year vet will certainly make the final 53 once again after being brought back on a one-year deal.

Tight end (4) | Kyle Pitts, Jonnu Smith, Parker Hesse, MyCole Pruitt

This is actually a very interesting group. Pitts and Smith are locks. Pruitt and Hesse are battling with Feleipe Franks and John FitzPatrick for the final two spots. I also wouldn’t be surprised if this unit was comprised of five players.

Still, it’s my world, so we are only keeping four. Franks is finally out but is likely kept on the practice squad because Arthur Smith has a man crush on the former quarterback. That or Franks has some sort of blackmail on the Falcons head coach. He offers virtually nothing that everyone else on the roster already does; this is the end for him in Atlanta.

FitzPatrick is a bit different. He’s probably the best blocker in this group, but it’s not good enough to warrant a spot over Hesse or Pruitt. It wouldn’t surprise me if he is kept, though.

Wide receiver (6) | Drake London, Mack Hollins, Scotty Miller, KhaDarel Hodge, Penny Hart, Frank Darby

Drake London, Mack Hollins, and Scotty Miller are all locks and will contribute on offense. The others are fighting for roster spots via special teams. Hodge, Hart, and Darby can all contribute in the game’s third phase.

Hodge is probably the team’s best special teamer, and Hart is a skilled punt returner. Though Darby isn’t as good in either, he’s been turning heads in training camp, so I’ll keep him. He needs to impress in the preseason because I wouldn’t be shocked if the Falcons only kept five recievers.

Offensive line (9) | Jake Matthews, Matt Hennessy, Matt Bergeron, Drew Dalman, Chris Lindstrom, Kaleb McGary, Jalen Mayfield, Jovaughn Gwyn, Ryan Neuzil

Ethan Greenridge would’ve made it over Gwyn and Neuzil but went down with what appeared to be a significant injury during Wednesday’s practice. Arthur Smith speaks incredibly highly of Neuzil, so I gave him the nod.

Mayfield is someone whose roster spot is in serious jeopardy. However, a move back to tackle and some compliments from the coaching staff save him for now. His career is likely going to be relegated to a reserve role.


Defensive line (7) | Grady Jarrett, Calais Campbell, Ta’Quon Graham, David Onyemata, Zach Harrison, Timmy Horne, Joe Gaziano

Justin Ellis is likely the first one out, while Gaziano is the last one in. Ellis’ presence is somewhat redundant with Horne present, which makes Gaziano more likely.

Outside linebacker (4) | Lorenzo Carter, Bud Dupree, Arnold Ebiketie, DeAngelo Malone

If Gaziano makes it, Ogundeji is likely out and vice versa. The former fifth-round pick has consistently slid down the depth chart, but a good camp and preseason could vault him back into the conversation for the final 53.

Inside linebacker (4) | Troy Andersen, Kaden Elliss, Mykal Walker, Tae Davis

Nate Landman and Tae Davis will battle it out for the last spot, but I went with Davis for his value on special teams. The other three are set in stone.

Safety (4) | Jessie Bates III, Richie Grant, Jaylinn Hawkins, DeMarcco Hellams

Micah Abernathy will battle Hellams for the final roster spot at safety. Once again, like every final roster spot, it will be decided by the value in the game’s third phase. However, Abernathy has mostly taken the second-team reps, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Falcons go with him over Hellams.

Cornerback (6) | A.J. Terrell, Jeff Okudah, Dee Alford, Mike Hughes, Clark Phillips III, Tre Flowers

Another position that is going to be difficult. I actually think Alford’s spot is one of the more secure on the team. It comes down to Tre Flowers and Cornell Armstrong. I went with the former because of his positional versatility.

This is one simple; no changes.

Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

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