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Projecting the Falcons' 2016 starters

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Who will emerge as the starters? Per NFL.com, there's not a lot of surprises in the offing.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons don't have a lot of uncertainty when it comes to their starting lineup in 2016, but there is some. Part of the fun in May is trying to figure out who the starters will be at contested positions like middle linebacker and right guard.

The NFL's flagship site has their projections for every team, and there's a couple of interesting choices here.

Here's the full list of projected starters, per NFL.com

Falcons Projected Starters
Offense Defense
QB: Matt Ryan DE: Vic Beasley
RB: Devonta Freeman DT: Ra'Shede Hageman
WR1: Julio Jones DT: Grady Jarrett
WR2: Mohamed Sanu DE: Derrick Shelby
WR3: Justin Hardy OLB: Philip Wheeler
TE: Jacob Tamme MLB: Deion Jones
LT: Jake Matthews OLB: Brooks Reid
LG: Andy Levitre CB1: Desmond Trufan
C: Alex Mack CB2: Robert Alford
RG: Chris Chester S: Keanu Neal
RT: Ryan Schraeder S: Ricardo Allen

The most interesting selections are at linebacker, as you might figure, because there's not a ton of intrigue elsewhere on the roster. Wheeler seems like the most likely choice to start the season as the starter on the weak side, while Brooks Reed (not Reid) is probably going to have a decent shot on the other side if Courtney Upshaw is playing a fair amount of defensive end. Deion Jones versus Paul Worrilow is already starting to feel like a settled battle, simply because Jones offers the speed and physicality the Falcons covet under Dan Quinn, but in reality that's likely to be a battle that stretches out through the summer.

This is more of less what I anticipate will happen for teh Falcons, though, if everyone stays healthy. How about you?