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How are the Falcons going to divvy up snaps at defensive end?

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It’s fair to wonder, given how many contenders the Falcons have for spots.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons-Minicamp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons are, to put it mildly, loaded with options at defensive end. Here’s what we’re looking at this year.

  • Vic Beasley
  • Takkarist McKinley
  • Derrick Shelby
  • Adrian Clayborn
  • Brooks Reed
  • Courtney Upshaw
  • Jack Crawford

You can also bet that Ra’Shede Hageman, Grady Jarrett, and perhaps even De’Vondre Campbell will get some snaps at defensive end, too, giving Atlanta one of the five or so deepest rotations in the entire NFL. But how is that all going to shake out?

You can expect that Beasley will be a full-time starter, pulling down 30-40 snaps per game, and that Shelby, Clayborn, and Reed will all get significant snaps in the average game. Upshaw, Crawford, and of course McKinley are going to get time at defensive end, too, with McKinley potentially leading the bunch if he can live up to his potential early. It will be a true rotation again this year, with Beasley and McKinley rising to the top by 2018 at the latest, especially with Clayborn and Upshaw looming as free agents and Reed possibly on his way out as well.

Let’s get your take on it.