Predicting the Falcons final 53-man roster

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Finally, the dreadful preseason is over, and football is on the horizon. Unfortunately, for many players, that means cutting season. The Falcons will have to make a bevy of cuts before Saturday’s deadline, trimming the roster to 53. There are a few difficult decisions to predict, but for the most part, we have a pretty good idea of who will be making the roster based on who was kept out of last night’s game.


  1. Matt Ryan
  2. Matt Schaub

No tricks here. It’s going to be Ryan and Schaub in the QB room again.

Running Backs

  1. Devonta Freeman
  2. Ito Smith
  3. Qadree Ollison
  4. Kenjon Barner

Brian Hill had an excellent preseason, but Ollison did as well, and the Falcons used a draft pick on him this year. He will snag the third and final running back spot. Barner is listed as a running back but is really a return man – a position he won by default because of how abominable the others performed when returning kicks/punts.

Wide Receivers

  1. Julio Jones
  2. Calvin Ridley
  3. Mohamed Sanu
  4. Russell Gage
  5. Justin Hardy
  6. Christian Blake

The first five are locks, but I think the Falcons keep at least six receivers. Blake has been a reliable target all preseason, and I like the odds of him making the 53-man roster.

Tight Ends

  1. Austin Hooper
  2. Luke Stocker
  3. Jaeden Graham

I don’t think the Falcons will keep four tight ends, but they do take a gamble on Graham’s athleticism after a stellar preseason. Stocker and Paulsen have the same skill set. Graham could bring a wrinkle or two to this Atlanta offense.

Offensive Lineman

  1. Alex Mack
  2. Chris Lindstrom
  3. Jamon Brown
  4. James Carpenter
  5. Jake Mathews
  6. Kaleb McGary
  7. Wes Schweitzer
  8. Matt Gono
  9. Ty Sambrailo

No surprises here. This should be the offensive line group heading into week one.

Defensive Tackles

  1. Grady Jarrett
  2. Tyler Davison
  3. Jack Crawford
  4. Deadrin Senat

The Falcons are going to play several different defensive fronts this year from a 3-4 to a 4-3, but this is the group you will see the most inside the tackles.

Defensive Ends/OLBs

  1. Takk McKinley
  2. Vic Beasley Jr.
  3. John Cominsky
  4. Allen Bailey
  5. Adrian Clayborn

Some guys like Austin Larkin had productive preseason, but they didn’t show enough to earn a roster spot.


  1. Deion Jones
  2. De’Vondre Campbell
  3. Foyesade Oluokon
  4. Duke Riley
  5. Jermaine Grace
  6. Bruce Carter

The first five on this list are locks. Duke Riley showed just enough to warrant another season to prove himself, and Jermaine Grace was a superstar in the preseason. Bruce Carter isn’t anything special, but because of the lack of experience outside the top-two on this list, I think the Falcons roll with six linebackers.


  1. Desmond Trufant
  2. Isaiah Oliver
  3. Keanu Neal
  4. Ricardo Allen
  5. Damontae Kazee
  6. Kendall Sheffield
  7. Jordan Miller
  8. Blidi Wreh-Wilson
  9. Sharrod Neasman
  10. Kemal Ishmael
  11. Chris Cooper

You can never have too many secondary players. This group is going to be relying on a ton of youth, and they desperately need their two guys at the back-end – Neal and Allen – to stay healthy.

Special Teams

  1. Matt Bryant
  2. Matt Bosher
  3. Josh Harris

See what I did here? I didn’t hesitate. The Falcons are bringing Matt Bryant in for a “workout.” That really means he will be signing with Atlanta this afternoon. Taveccio has been atrocious in the preseason, and Blair Walsh… C’mon.

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