The Falcons will report to training camp this week, and the buzz surrounding the new regime is palpable. There is excitement about new beginnings and newfound hope. Not that Dan Quinn played favorites by any means, but Arthur Smith has strongly reiterated there would be competition at every single position. The best rosters in the league, ones that find sustained success, have competition up and down the depth chart — from the backups to the third strings. The Falcons would love to shed some salary if possible, and these players could be on the roster bubble come final 53-man cuts.
Jonathan Bullard, DL
Bullard hasn’t quite found his footing in the league, spending much of his career on and off practice squads since being drafted in 2016. Signing with the Falcons this offseason, it seems he is a camp body and practice-squad candidate. Since he doesn’t have much experience as a starter, I could see him stashed away on the practice squad in case of injury,
Jaeden Graham, TE
The Falcons have three established tight ends ahead of Graham — Kyle Pitts (TE1), Hayden Hurst (TE2), Lee Smith (TE3). I fully expect Arthur Smith’s offense to carry four tight ends, and though Graham might be the best pass catcher and have the highest upside outside of the top three, Smith could choose to carry a blocking tight end instead. Graham will be competing with Parker Hesse and Ryan Becker, both known as blocking tight ends.
Chris Rowland, WR
Entering this past offseason, Rowland seemed like a lock to make the roster, given his special teams pedigree. Then Terry Fontenot went out and signed Cordarrelle Patterson, who will surely return kickoffs. If Rowland can’t beat Avery Williams out as the team’s punt returner, Fontenot could choose to go without the speedy wideout.
A.J. McCarron, QB
I am not a Feleipe Franks fan. Every time I watched him in college, I laughed in second-hand embarrassment as he always seemed to piss games away. With that being said, McCarron isn’t some stud either. Given his contract’s structure, Fontenot could cut the former Alabama product with little ramifications.
Deadrin Senat, DL
Senat is entering a contract year — the final year of his rookie deal. He hasn’t established himself in any way over the past couple of seasons. With a new coaching staff in town, he will have a clean slate, which could go either way — making the roster or a final cut.