Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
The Atlanta Falcons have eight players now ready to compete for roster spots in 2013.
With the season over, the Falcons are moving to the off-season in earnest. The opening move? Signing eight guys to reserve/future contracts, giving them a chance to compete for a roster spot when training camp rolls around this year.
Here's a look at the eight players the Falcons are bringing aboard. You'll recognize pretty much all of them from the practice squad or pre-season, but I wanted to give you the rundown in case you didn't remember.
WR James Rodgers: Jacquizz's older brother, James got a chance at a roster spot this off-season and didn't quite make it. He offers good athleticism and some intriguing special teams skills, but needs to improve his hands and route running to make it as a receiver. He could be a Weems type.
WR Marcus Jackson: Jackson intrigues me as a receiving prospect. 6'1", 195 with good wheels and solid hands, he posted seven catches for 73 yards in the pre-season this last year. The Falcons could use more quality depth at receiver, so he might get a cup of coffee.
G Jacques McClendon: At 6'3" and 324 pounds, he's a big dude with some promise. The Falcons have a real logjam of young players at guard (Peter Konz potentially, Harland Gunn, Phillipkeith Manley), but a guard with size is always welcome when it comes time to compete for a roster spot.
DT Micanor Regis: Regis plays at a relatively deep position for the Falcons, who have Corey Peters, Jonathan Babineaux, Peria Jerry, Vance Walker and Travian Robertson at the position. With Babs and Jerry possibly leaving, though, Regis might be able to crack the bottom of the DT rotation.
LB Pat Schiller: The Falcons are perilously thin at linebacker. All Schiller did in college was tackle, and what he might lack in incredible athleticism he makes up for in football smarts and sound tackling. Out of everyone assembled here, he's my sleeper pick to make the final roster.
TE Andrew Szczerba: His fate likely depends on whether or not Tony Gonzalez returns. If Gonzo retires, the Falcons only have Michael Palmer and Chase Coffman on hand. Szczerba is a hard worker and can catch a pass, but he's really more of a blocking tight end. He could stick as a third guy in that role.
CB Peyton Thompson: The Falcons are deep at cornerback, but Dominique Franks might be on his way out the door and Brent Grimes is no lock to return. Thompson isn't a huge guy, but he's got enough talent to merit a second look.
RB Josh Vaughan: The Falcons will need a new power back with Michael Turner probably heading out the door. Vaughan isn't real likely to be that guy, but he does have pretty good size and the makings of a traditional power back. He'll get a look, at least.
Will any of these guys make the final roster? Sound off!