Why I Picked Matt Hansen To Make The Final Roster

Primarily speculation, of course, but it didn't come totally out of the blue.

I picked Matt Hansen to make the final roster because the Falcons are strong at linebacker, but don't run particularly deep. Besides the starting three of Stephen Nicholas, Sean Weatherspoon and Lofa Tatupu/Akeem Dent, they have only Tatupu/Dent and likely Spencer Adkins to fall back on. They could use one more versatile player.

That's where Hansen is looking good. Robert James has hung on forever despite contributing essentially nothing, and I'm about ready to count him out for 2012. Hansen, meanwhile, has been playing all three linebacker spots in mini-camp, making big plays and showing well in coverage, something that's necessary to play linebacker in Mike Nolan's system. He's also had a year to learn the ropes as an on-again, off-again member of the Falcons, so he's not coming in completely raw.

In all, I think he offers more than James, and plenty to make the team as a sixth linebacker. He may well be a gameday inactive throughout the season, but I'd feel better about having him around as a security blanket than some of the other guys vying for roster spots.

Let's have a little late-night discussion. What do you think of Hansen's chances?

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