ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 01: David Reed #16 of the Baltimore Ravens pulls in this reception against Chris Owens #21 of the Atlanta Falcons before Reed was called for offensive pass interference at Georgia Dome on September 1, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The Falcons will have cuts to make following the draft, obviously. There will be a couple of marginal backups who will get the axe, and maybe even a couple of bigger name players who have either been injured or unproductive the last couple of years. You can bank on that.
What I'm interested in discussing is who the Falcons might sign from other teams' final cuts, if anyone at all. There are a few intriguing players out there who might fill needs or offer future production if the team can hold on to them. There may not be room for anybody when the draft is all said and done, but if there is, here's a few players I think would make sense for the team.
I recognize that all of these guys are upside-type gambles, so if you have safer choices you think will be released by the other 31 teams out there, nominate 'em in the comments.
- KR/PR David Reed. A terrific returner who's a bit of a knucklehead, Reed would be a nice replacement for Eric Weems but doesn't offer a whole hell of a lot as a receiver. The Falcons would need to verify that he's healthy and be willing to carry a purely special teams roster spot, but it's hard to argue that they couldn't use a guy who averaged 29 yards a kick return and 16 a punt return in 2011.
- LB Sergio Kindle. A fellow Raven who might get the axe, Kindle missed the 2010 season with a fractured skull and was brought along extremely slowly last year. Still just 24, he has talent and could be a useful backup linebacker for the Falcons. Like Reed, he's a bit of a gamble.
G Duke Robinson. A 6'5", 330 pound monstrosity, Robinson's major problem is conditioning and caring. He's now been released by two organizations for failing to get himself into good shape, in essence. An Atlanta native, Robinson has all the talent in the world, but needs to play for someone who can get the 25-year-old to give a damn about football. If you think the Falcons can do that, you sign him today. If you don't, you stay far, far away.
- TE Chris Cooley. Fun-loving tight end with considerable talent who has battled injuries non-stop the last couple of years. On a one-year, prove-it type of deal, he could be a nice fit as a backup to Tony Gonzalez and another pass-catching option for what hopefully will be a wide-open Falcons passing offense.
Let me know what you think of these choices, and be sure to add your own.