Parsing The Atlanta Falcons Backup Quarterback Situation

JACKSONVILLE FL - SEPTEMBER 02: John Parker Wilson #4 of the Atlanta Falcons attempts a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during a preseason game at EverBank Field on September 2 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

We're going to presume that Matt Ryan is the starter. This, of course, is the rough equivalent to assuming the Pope will be Catholic.

The Falcons still have three quarterbacks kicking around who could back up Matt Ryan in 2012. They range from wily veteran with a noodle arm (Chris Redman), cagey young guy with a noodle arm (John Parker Wilson) and extremely athletic raw rookie (Dominique Daniels). None are perfect, but all have something to recommend them.

If you'll indulge me, I'd like to take a quick preliminary look at what each of them brings to the table. I'll also look at why they should back up Ryan and why they shouldn't, as well as a shot in the dark as to where they'll fall on the depth chart.

Join me after the jump for more.

Chris Redman

Pros: Experienced. Knows the team and has a comfort level with the coaching staff. Always seems to play decently in games. Makes good reads. Hands the ball off smoothly, which Michael Turner appreciates.

Cons: Fairly weak arm. Getting up there in years. Can't make all the throws.

Where He'll End Up: I think with a new offense being installed, Redman finally loses his backup spot this season. The Falcons haven't been grooming JPW for nothing, and they didn't bring aboard Davis on a lark, even if he is just a UDFA. While I hate to see it happen, I think it's likely the Falcons let him go.

John Parker Wilson

Pros: Knows the team, because they've been grooming him. Smart. Knows a playbook. Can solve complex mathematical equations. May be reincarnated Einstein, but looks like post-accident Mark Hamill.

Cons: Fairly weak arm. Has played poorly in the pre-season. Not particularly athletic. May have pictures of Smitty.

Where He'll End Up: Hopefully JPW totally destroys all our pre-conceived notions of him this off-season, because I honestly think he's going to get a backup job. That thought scares me more than a little because we haven't seen any reason for the team to keep him around, but he's gone from practice squad to third string. Almost a full decade younger than Redman and going on his fourth year with the Falcons, this is the year he'll get a chance.

Dominique Davis

Pros: Athletic. Can make all the short and medium throws with ease. Surprisingly good accuracy.

Cons: Not incredibly comfortable in the pocket. Throws too many picks. Not actually a good running quarterback, except near the goal line. Raw, and his deep accuracy is a little off.

Where He'll End Up: Davis has an intriguing amount of potential. One does not set the NCAA consecutive completions record by accident, and Davis' college accuracy bodes well for him. His plus athleticism makes him a much more interesting project than Redman and JPW. Given his upside and the possibility that the team might lose him, I see him making the team as the third quarterback. He's obviously not all that likely to play.

How do you think the depth chart will look come the season?

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