A preseason depth chart is a lot like watching cows go in to a steel container in a slaughterhouse: It doesn't tell you much about the final product.
Still, this updated depth chart a fun reflection of where the Falcons feel they're at after looking at this group of players for several weeks of practice and training camps, not to mention one preseason game. As you might expect, veterans get the early benefit of the doubt more or less across the board, while some young players are lower than you might expect.
The key to viewing this is to remember that all the significant upward and downward movement on this depth chart will occur closer to the season, and that in some cases, keeping players low on the depth chart may just be a motivational ploy. Now that we've dispensed with that, let's look at the most interesting points from the chart.
Paul Worrilow, Brian Banks Are Third-String
Nick Clancy was virtually silent in the first preseason game and hasn't jumped off the field at practices, so his being listed right behind Stephen Nicholas seems a bit odd. Banks is a little more understandable, given how late he came in to the first preseason game, but it's a reminder for that one preseason performance isn't going to vault these guys to the top of the line.
Bottom-line, here: This doesn't mean much. Worrilow and Bartu are still pushing hard for roster spots, Clancy hasn't proven enough yet and nobody quite knows where Banks will end up.
Shann Schillinger, Charles Mitchell Are Still Backups
Want to see what I mean by veterans getting the benefit of the doubt? Look no further than backup safety.
Schillinger has been, to put it delicately, not great for a while now. Mitchell failed to stand out, and every report out of training camp has indicated that Zeke Motta and Kemal Ishmael have looked impressive for rookies. I expect at least one of Schillinger and Mitchell to get kicked to the curb in favor of the 2013 rookies, so this also doesn't mean much.
Desmond Trufant Ahead Of Robert Alford
Malliciah Goodman Listed Behind Cliff Matthews
This one might actually have a little merit. Matthews is going to get snaps at defensive tackle and Goodman is going to get his shots, especially because Kroy Biermann will also get some linebacker snaps. But Matthews has been very impressive throughout training camp and looked solid in his first preseason game, so this could be an accurate pecking order at the moment.
Watch out for Violent Hands, though.
Harland Gunn, Phillipkeith Manley Pushing
Part of the problem with teams loaded with versatile players is that it's difficult to figure out where they should be listed. I have no doubt that Joe Hawley will back up Peter Konz, but he's also an option to back up both guard spots.
Given that, you might want to take the Gunn and Manley backup placements with a grain of salt, but you'd be wrong to do so. Both have looked sharp, both are young and this line desperately needs an infusion of talented depth. At least one, if not two of these guys will stick, with Gunn looking like a possibility as Justin Blalock's backup.
Chase Coffman Is The Backup Tight End
Given Levine Toilolo's early struggles, this makes a ton of sense. Tommy Gallarda's injury paved a clear path to a roster spot and a decent-sized role for Coffman.
Ultimately, again, none of this means these positions are set in stone. It's possible that not one of these points holds true by the end of preseason, but it's fun to see where things stand before the Ravens game.
Weigh in on the depth chart down in the comments!