Less than a week until training camp for the Atlanta Falcons, and we’re counting down every boring, stupid day between now and then. Six to go!
Today, we’re going to look at the remaining roster holes the Falcons have coming into training camp, holes that might be addressed by simple improvement or an outside signing, or may just remain holes all season. Let’s not think about that just yet.
Here’s my list:
- Fourth receiver. Usually this isn’t a huge concern unless your team is dealing with injuries, but with only a faint idea of how Mohamed Sanu and Justin Hardy are going to fare this year, the Falcons would probably like a reliable fourth option. With Devin Hester returning from injury, Devin Fuller a rookie, Aldrick Robinson and Nick Williams offering uncertain upside, and the likes of Eric Weems and UDFAs as remaining options, this is a legitimate hole. Thankfully, Julio Jones is here.
- Right guard. You can add the left side here, given that Andy Levitre may or may not have a starting job, but right guard is one of the few positions on the roster that is legitimately unsettled, and while there a ton of options, there aren’t any great ones.
- Middle linebacker. I’m not suggesting that Deion Jones isn’t an electrifying rookie, or that Paul Worrilow doesn’t have enough experience under his belt to start and hold down the fort, but the reality is neither one of these guys figures to be great in 2016. That’s unfortunate for a team that has really struggled at linebacker. LaRoy Reynolds, who was signed chiefly for special teams, looms as the wild card here.
- Weakside linebacker. Even more so than the middle, there are question marks here. Your competition is rookie De’Vondre Campbell, one year signings Philip Wheeler and Sean Weatherspoon, perennial tease Tyler Starr, and a bunch of other guys. With Wheeler potentially competing on the strong side, things are arguably even less certain.
- Third cornerback. All signs point to Akeem King holding down the fort until Jalen Collins comes back, but we simply haven’t seen enough from either player to feel very confident in either one matching up against some of the league’s better receivers, which they’ll have to do on occasion.
- Backup quarterback. When you’re wondering whether Matt Schaub or Sean Renfree is going to win, you’d better pray Matt Ryan stays healthy.