Reaction to Falcons first depth chart ahead of 2022 season

Falcons 53-man roster predictions

Ahead of Atlanta’s preseason opener against the Lions, the team released their first depth chart of the 2022 season.

Here’s my reaction to the three phases of the Falcons depth chart, courtesy of the team’s website

OFFENSE

Falcons depth chart
Position Starter Backup Reserve Reserve Reserve Reserve Reserve Reserve
WR KhaDarel Hodge Geronimo Allison Damiere Byrd Auden Tate Drake London Tyshaun James
TE Kyle Pitts Anthony Firkser Feleipe Franks
LT Jake Matthews Rick Leonard Leroy Watson
LG Elijah Wilkinson Jalen Mayfield Justin Shaffer
C Matt Hennessy -OR- Drew Dalman Ryan Neuzil
RG Chris Lindstrom Colby Gossett Jonotthan Harrison
RT Kaleb McGary Germain Ifedi Tyler Vrabel
TE Parker Hesse MyCole Pruitt John FitzPatrick Tucker Fisk
WR Olamide Zaccheaus Bryan Edwards Frank Darby Cameron Batson Stanley Berryhill Jared Bernhardt
RB Cordarrelle Patterson Damien Williams Keith Smith Qadree Ollison Caleb Huntley Avery Williams John Raine Tyler Allgeier
QB Marcus Mariota Desmond Ridder Feleipe Franks

Mariota is the starter, which has been confirmed and is now reiterated in the Falcons’ first depth chart. Desmond Ridder is the first backup, while Feleipe Franks is both QB3 and TE5. The receiving core is quite interesting. Olamide Zaccheaus gets the nod over Bryan Edwards, who the team traded for earlier this offseason and has had a pretty good camp. Drake London as the fifth-string is purely Arthur Smith’s tendency of not having rookies high on the depth chart, which includes why Tyler Allgeier is the last reserve among the running backs.

At center, the competition is clearly ongoing between Matt Hennessy and Drew Dalman, which will likely be undecided until Week 1. Elijah Wilkinson gets the nod over Jalen Mayfield, who has struggled in camp thus far and has been dealing with a back injury. Most believe Wilkinson will be the team’s starter at left guard when the Falcons play the Saints in the season opener. Kaleb McGary has apparently done enough to hold off Germain Ifedi.

DEFENSE

Falcons depth chart
Position Starter Backup Reserve Reserve Reserve
DL Grady Jarrett Jalen Dalton Abdullah Anderson Timothy Horne
DL Anthony Rush Nick Thurman Derrick Tangelo
DL Ta’Quon Graham Marlon Davidson Darrion Daniels
OLB Adetokunbo Ogundeji Arnold Ebiketie Kuony Deng
LB Mykal Walker Nick Kwiatkoski Rashad Smith Troy Andersen
LB Rashaan Evans Dorian Etheridge Nathan Landman
OLB Lorenzo Carter Quinton Bell Jordan Brailford DeAngelo Malone
CB A.J. Terrell Cornell Armstrong Mike Ford Corey Ballentine Matt Hankins
S Richie Grant Erik Harris Henry Black
S Jaylinn Hawkins Dean Marlowe Teez Tabor Tre Webb
CB Casey Hayward Jr. Darren Hall Isaiah Oliver Dee Alford Lafayette Pitts

The first thing that pops out is Jaylinn Hawkins and Richie Grant as the starting safety duo, which is encouraging. They were expected to take the reins, but it’s great that those expectations are coming to reality. Hayward and Terrell were always going to be the starters. Ade Ogundeji starting opposite Lorenzo Carter was also not shocking. He’s more experienced and stouter against the run than rookies Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone.

Mykal Walker and Rashaan Evans get the start at inside linebacker while Deion Jones is still recovering from shoulder surgery. It’ll be intriguing to see what happens to the group when Debo returns; Walker has never been a full-time starter as a pro. The defensive line was as expected, but it is still great to see Graham take the opportunity in stride.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Falcons depth chart
Position Starter Backup
K Younghoe Koo
P Bradley Pinion Seth Vernon
LS Liam McCullough
H Bradley Pinion
PR Avery Williams
KOR Avery Williams

The matchup to watch here is between Pinion and Vernon, with the former having the leg up in the punter competition, given his experience and proven track record.

Thanks for reading my reaction to the Falcons depth chart release; be sure to check out the other Falcons content!

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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