What are the holes on the Falcons roster following cuts, waivers?

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The Falcons have almost finalized their roster, snatching two players from waivers and adding another dozen to the practice squad; however, there will be roster shuffling all season long as injuries and other circumstances arise. Given all the areas the Falcons could use upgrading, that should be viewed as a positive. Here’s where they could most use help before the start of the season:

Defensive Line

Grady Jarrett is an absolute stud. He’s one of the ten best players at his position and is as consistent as they come in the NFL. Both Anthony Rush and Ta’Quon Graham are respectable players in their own right. The latter of which is quickly ascending and could turn into quite a valuable player along the defensive front; however, the depth is troubling.

The team recently claimed Matt Dickerson off waivers, but he’s shown nothing to believe he can turn into a starting-caliber player with the Falcons. Marlon Davidson has been a disappointing development, hampered by injuries for much of his young career. Timothy Horne is a great story, but nobody should expect him to contribute significantly this season.

It’s just not a great rotation of defensive linemen, and it doesn’t seem like it’ll improve any time soon.

Offensive Line

The Falcons could use bolstering at right tackle, but the real issue is at guard. This isn’t anything new; Atlanta’s offensive line has been a weak point for years. The Falcons added Chuma Edoga off waivers. He is a proven starter but closer to a reserve-caliber player. If Edoga were to have to start in a pinch, it wouldn’t be great.

Germain Ifedi and Jalen Mayfield aren’t inspiring options either. The former is better served at right tackle but could be an emergency reserve at guard, while the latter just lost his starting position. Mayfield will continue to develop, but honestly, nobody should expect him to become an above-average player.

Elijah Wilkinson has assumed the starting left guard role, but it’s the first time in his career he’s been a starter in that spot. He should be an upgrade over Mayfield, but don’t expect him to change the outlook of this group. Justin Shaffer was signed to the practice squad and will provide depth from there. The Falcons can’t go into next season with the same starting guard duo, but Chris Lindstrom isn’t the issue; we know that.

Tight end

The Falcons tight end group isn’t bad; it’s carried by the second-year phenom Kyle Pitts. However, Arthur Smith’s tendency to use multiple tight ends — more so than most offensive coordinators — makes the unit a bit light on depth.

Pitts is the obvious superstar. Parker Hesse is a decent player, well-rounded as a blocker and receiver. MyCole Pruitt flashed during the preseason in the same capacity and gives the Falcons an emergency reserve on the practice squad. John FitzPatrick is more of a blocker than receiver but might end up doing a stint on the IR.

The one surprise here is Anthony Firkser, who was shockingly cut. The connection to Arthur Smith made Firkser a favorite to be the team’s TE2 next to Pitts. Moreover, Hesse just isn’t that caliber of player to assume that many snaps. The Falcons could always place FitzPatrick on the IR and bring Firkser back, but at this point, the position needs bolstering due to how frequently Smith uses tight ends.

Photographer: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

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