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A look at Ledbetter's top position battles for the Falcons

Where are the top position battles?

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

One of the team's most plugged-in reporters, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, broke out his five most interesting position battles for Atlanta's upcoming minicamp. The Matt Ryan v. Matt Schaub battle oddly just missed the list.

What should be the most noteworthy out of Ledbetter's list?

Right cornerback: The Falcons have two strong cornerbacks in Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford. But in today’s NFL where teams play nickel defenses (five defensive backs) more than 60 percent of the time, teams need three good cornerbacks.

The Falcons didn’t re-sign Phillip Adams, who took the most nickel snaps (429) last season. They are counting on Jalen Collins, a second-round pick in 2015, taking over the right cornerback spot and moving Alford inside to nickel.

As Ledbetter mentions, Collins is suspended for the first four games of the season. Not mentioned was Collins looked as bad as expected for a player who rarely started in college. The team looks to be all in on Akeem King subbing in outside in nickel formations. He flashed some quality play last season, but both players have a long way to go to move away from being a liability.

Middle linebacker. Paul Worrilow is the incumbent, but they (sic) Falcons drafted the speedy Deion Jones, out of LSU, in the second-round. Worrilow has a better understanding of the defense in his second year in this scheme.

This battle needs little introduction: Worrilow is the athletically-limited veteran, while Jones is the raw but blazingly fast rookie. We may see a heavy rotation during the actual season, but it seems likely that the player with the best offseason will be the starter. That may be a lot to ask for from Jones, and Worrilow's experience may allow him to keep a hold onto the starting job, at least through most of this year.

Ledbetter feels a few other positions should have some heavy competition, but I think middle linebacker and cornerback will easily be the most interesting of the lot. Right guard could be any of four or five players, running back should be a position of interest, and the defensive line itself looks pretty fluid this early.

Any other position battles that you expect to go deep into the offseason?