Falcons 53-man roster prediction 2.0

9531909150318 phl at atl

After the draft, I made my initial 53-man roster prediction for 2020, but a lot has happened between now and then, featuring a couple of free-agent signings and a puzzling cut. So with training camp in full swing, it’s time to try this again. 


  1. Matt Ryan
  2. Matt Schaub

This is relatively straightforward. I’m rooting for Kurt Benkert, but Schaub proved last season in the one game that he did have to start that he is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league. The Falcons are going to hang onto him as long as he’s healthy, and they will only have two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster.

Running Back

  1. Todd Gurley
  2. Brian Hill
  3. Ito Smith
  4. Qadree Ollison
  5. Keith Smith

I expect the Falcons to keep four running backs on the roster. Todd Gurley will be the featured back, but all four should receive some snaps, given his injury history. Keith Smith makes it as the lone fullback.

Wide Receivers

  1. Julio Jones
  2. Calvin Ridley
  3. Russell Gage
  4. Olamide Zaccheaus
  5. Christian Blake
  6. Chris Rowland

The first three on this list are locks and should be the starters in Week 1. Chris Rowland makes it over Brandon Powell, serving primarily as the team’s kick and punt returner. Then I have Zaccheaus and Blake beating out Laquon Treadwell for the last two spots. Treadwell may be the big name, but he’s been a bust his entire career. Zaccheaus and Blake are underrated talents with experience in Atlanta’s offense.

Tight End

  1. Hayden Hurst
  2. Jaeden Graham
  3. Luke Stocker

Hurst and Graham have been favorites to make the roster since the beginning of the offseason, and I think the Luke Stocker signing was telling. Jared Pinkney was among the most highly-touted UDFA’s. However, if the Falcons only keep three tight ends, these look to be their best options.

Offensive Line

  1. Alex Mack
  2. Chris Lindstrom
  3. Jake Matthews
  4. Kaleb McGary
  5. Matt Hennessy
  6. James Carpenter
  7. Matt Gono
  8. Justin McCray
  9. John Wetzel

I’m pretty confident that the first eight guys will make the roster. The ninth and likely final offensive line spot is up in the air after the team announced they released Jamon Brown yesterday. I went with John Wetzel because he’s versatile and has experience with the Falcons, but it could go to an undrafted free agent that has impressed or Sean Harlow.


  1. Keanu Neal
  2. Ricardo Allen
  3. Damontae Kazee
  4. J.J. Wilcox
  5. Jaylinn Hawkins

Safety is probably the deepest position group for the Falcons, and we could see three safeties on the field at times, featuring Neal, Allen, and Kazee. J.J. Wilcox is a quality depth signing as long as he has fully recovered from the torn ACL he suffered in training camp last year. And Jaylinn Hawkins is one of Atlanta’s fourth-round picks from this draft class.


  1. Darqueze Dennard
  2. A.J. Terrell
  3. Isaiah Oliver
  4. Kendall Sheffield
  5. Blidi Wreh-Wilson
  6. Jordan Miller

A month ago, cornerback looked like it could be the Falcons Achilles’ heel, but after acquiring Darqueze Dennard, they should feel much more confident in this group. The first five on this list are locks, and I expect them to hold onto Jordan Miller unless they decide to move on from the former fifth-round pick after just one season.


  1. Deion Jones
  2. Foye Oluokun
  3. Mykal Walker
  4. Deone Buccanon
  5. LaRoy Reynolds

Jones and Oluokun will see the bulk of the action, but Walker and Buccanon provide some quality depth. Reynolds will most likely serve strictly on special teams unless there are multiple injuries.

Defensive Line

  1. Grady Jarrett
  2. Dante Fowler Jr.
  3. Takk McKinley
  4. Marlon Davidson
  5. Tyeler Davison
  6. John Cominsky
  7. Allen Bailey
  8. Charles Harris
  9. Steven Means

I’d say the top seven on this list will definitely be on the roster Week 1. Charles Harris probably will be too after the Falcons traded for him this offseason, and I gave Steven Means the final spot. He’s given the Falcons some decent production in the past despite tearing his ACL during OTAs last year.

Special Teams

  1. Josh Harris
  2. Sterling Hofrichter
  3. Younghoe Koo


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