Falcons: Notable UDFA surprisingly released before final round of cuts

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The 4:00 pm deadline to get to an 80-man roster is approaching, but the Falcons already made a bevy of transactions. Atlanta placed A.J. McCarron on injured reserve after he suffered a torn ACL and officially signed Josh Rosen. They also released the five players needed to satisfy the 80 player roster cutdown — Willie Wright, Austin Trammel, Javian Hawkins, Oliver Sagapolu, and Shareef Miller.

Willie Wright is a bit surprising, but the most shocking transaction is Javian Hawkins, who was a highly sought-after undrafted free agent. He always had a chance to make the final roster because he is a change-of-pace running back with homerun, breakaway speed and explosiveness. During the Falcons’ first preseason game, he received minimal action because the offense as a whole was ineffective. Still, during the Dolphins preseason matchup, Hawkins looked slippery on his way to a 9.6 yards per carry average, finishing with 46 yards on five carries.

Hawkins is a dynamic player, and I would be very surprised if he wasn’t claimed by another team. The biggest winner has to be Caleb Huntley, who had an equally impressive game against Miami. Huntley carried the ball six times for 57 yards with one of the carries being a 30-yard touchdown. He is still battling D’Onta Foreman for the last running back spot on the roster; they’ll surely see the bulk of the carries in the preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns.

Photo: Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire

 

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