Along with every other club, the Falcons are in the full swing of training camp. It’s by far the most competitive roster of Arthur Smith’s tenure, so it’s not going to be an easy one to make, especially for the undrafted free agents.
Ikenna Enechukwu was one of the best bets coming into camp because of his frame, length, speed and bust. However, an injury ended that dream.
Justin Marshall is a big-bodied wideout that played at Buffalo from Covington. He could certainly carve out a role, but he’s competing with a laundry list of others for those final receiver spots, most of which will have to contribute on special teams
Mike Jones Jr. is another name to keep an eye on. The former Clemson and LSU Tiger isn’t a traditional linebacker and would have to contribute in the game’s third phase. Jones is competing with Tae Davis and Nate Landman for what is likely just one roster spot, so numbers wise, Jones has a decent shot at making the roster.
However, neither was Bleacher Report’s choice for the undrafted free agent with the best chance to make the Falcons 53-man roster. It was Natrone Brooks.
Vying for a spot behind Okuah, A.J. Terrell, Mike Hughes and rookie fourth-round pick Clark Phillips III at cornerback is Southern Mississippi product Natrone Brooks.
The Falcons signed Brooks after giving him a rookie minicamp invite, and the former Golden Eagles standout has been spotted making plays in coverage during early training camp.
Any team with playoff aspirations—and Atlanta should be one of them in 2023—should value reliable cornerback depth. Brooks, who tallied 29 tackles, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown last season, has the ball skills to provide just that.
Unfortunately for Brooks, the cornerback room is absolutely loaded. A.J. Terrell, Jeff Okudah, Mike Hughes, Clark Phillips, Dee Alford, Darren Hall, Tre Flowers, and Natrone Brooks will compete for only six spots probably.
Terrell and Okudah are locks, so that leaves four spots between Hughes, Phillips, Alford, Hall, Flowers and Brooks. Two of those six players aren’t going to make the roster. If I had to wager, it will likely be between Hall, Flowers, and Brooks for the final roster spot in the cornerback room.
That’s not to say Natrone Brooks can’t beat those two out, but he’ll have to separate himself from the two, which will come on special teams. The Falcons value intangibles as well, so if he’s a good locker room guy and comes every day ready to work, there’s a chance he squeaks out one of the final spots on the roster.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire