The Falcons attended the veteran combine earlier this year, and we wondered aloud whether the team would scoop up any of the players who worked out. Adam Carriker was on that list, and he's now getting his shot with Atlanta alongside several other veterans.
The Falcons have Adam Carriker in for a tryout during this week’s minicamp.— Jay Adams (@FalconsJAdams) April 28, 2015
The Falcons are hosting 11 tryout players for minicamp this week: Adam Carriker, Derek Cox, Kennard Cox, BJ Cunningham, Nate Menkin (Cont.)— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 28, 2015
Tryout players cont'd: Horace Miller, Carlton Mitchell, Collin Mooney, Evan Royster, Tevita Stevens and Stephen Williams.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 28, 2015
The 30-year-old former first round pick whose career has been largely derailed by injuries. He's spent his career with the Rams and Redskins, picking up nine sacks and generally grading out as a useful-to-very good run defender. He did not play for anyone in 2014, and catching the eye of an NFL team has to feel good considering his career appeared to be over.
For the Falcons, who could still use help and size up front, Carriker could represent a decent flyer with a chance to be a contributor assuming he's healthy. If he clocks in above 300 pounds, as he has in recent years, the Falcons would likely to be looking at him as an anchor end in 3-4 sets and a defensive tackle when they're using their 4-3 sets. If he's a little lighter or Dan Quinn and company want to get creative, he could be an option as a run-stopping end. Chances are he'd be little more than a reserve, particularly with Ra'Shede Hageman hopefully earning more snaps over the middle, but there's no risk in working him out, and certainly he offers a little bit of upside if he is truly healthy. Just don't set your expectations high.
As far as the remaining veterans go, there's a handful of interesting names, but two jump out at me given needs at their respective positions and past success.
Cox, 28, has spent time with the Jaguars, Chargers and Vikings, and was last seen starting 11 games for the Chargers before earning his release back in 2013. He's a big, aggressive cornerback at 6'1" and with 13 career interceptions in five seasons, but he isn't comfortable playing anywhere but outside and has had his struggles in coverage throughout his career. If the Falcons like what they see, he could be a reserve option for a thin cornerback corps.
Royster, 27, is an option chiefly because the Falcons only have two healthy, somewhat proven running backs on the roster. He did nice work in 2011 with the Redskins, compiling 328 yards on just 59 carries, but has been more or less a non-entity since. If he made the team, he'd be the third back, at best.
Jeanna Thomas is at minicamp this week and will hopefully have some impressions of these veterans and their chances.