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The Atlanta Falcons roster after the initial free agency flurry

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Atlanta’s still has some work to do before we can feel good about their roster, but some of those moves won’t come until April or later.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With nearly a week of free agency in the books and the Falcons having made only one move of note, I thought it was a good time to review how the 2018 roster is shaping up and see what glaring holes still remain. Let’s do so now, and break down the offense, defense, and special teams as a whole.

Scroll with us.

Offense

QB Matt Ryan

QB Matt Schaub

QB Garrett Grayson

RB Devonta Freeman

RB Tevin Coleman

RB Terrence Magee

WR Julio Jones

WR Mohamed Sanu

WR Justin Hardy

WR Marvin Hall

WR Reggie Davis

WR Devin Fuller

WR Rannell Hall

TE Austin Hooper

TE Logan Paulsen

TE Eric Saubert

TE Alex Gray

OT Jake Matthews

OT Ryan Schraeder

OT Ty Sambrailo

OT/OG Austin Pasztor

OG Andy Levitre

OG Brandon Fusco

OG/OC Ben Garland

OG Wes Schweitzer

OG Sean Harlow

OG Jamil Douglas

OC Alex Mack

OL Daniel Brunskill

OL Lucas Crowley

Defense

DE Vic Beasley

DE Takkarist McKinley

DE Brooks Reed

DE Derrick Shelby

DE J’Terius Jones

DE Martin Ifedi

DT Grady Jarrett

DT Jack Crawford

DT Taniela Tupou

DT Joey Ivie

LB Deion Jones

LB De’Vondre Campbell

LB Duke Riley

CB Desmond Trufant

CB Robert Alford

CB Brian Poole

CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson

CB Leon McFadden

CB Deante Burton

S Keanu Neal

S Ricardo Allen

S Damontae Kazee

S Marcelis Branch

S Quincy Mauger

Special Teams

K Matt Bryant

P Matt Bosher

LS Josh Harris


Offense

We still don’t know what’s happening with Matt Schaub, so the team either has an established backup quarterback making (in our opinion) a little too much considering their cap space, or they’re on the hunt for a younger option. Running back goes two deep with Terrence Magee potentially offering some untapped upside, wide receiver has been thinned out considerably but the team is saying all the right things about Marvin Hall and Reggie Davis, and tight end now appears set for 2018 with Logan Paulsen signing.

The offensive line, meanwhile, looks relatively settled. The Falcons have five clear starters, two swing tackle options, and tons of interior line depth. It’ll be interesting to see who they eventually keep out of that group, with Wes Schweitzer and Sean Harlow offering cheap contracts and youth and Ben Garland offering positional versatility. My guess is still that Harlow loses out, but it’s too early to say.

Overall, though, the offense is relatively settled. The Falcons may well invest in a third receiver and third running back, and they have to do something at tight end unless Eric Saubert is ready to take a leap forward. Otherwise, what we’re banking on here is slightly improved performance from stars, a bit of an upgrade at right guard, and Steve Sarkisian getting better use out of these players.

Defense

The line is very unsettled right now. The Falcons have a strong three man rotation at defensive end with Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley, and Brooks Reed, but they need (at minimum) more depth to keep these guys fresh, and in case injury strikes. Defensive tackle features one legitimately terrific player in Grady Jarrett, one potentially effective starter in Jack Crawford, and nothing else. The Falcons can make a lot of headway just by landing a first round defensive tackle, giving them a rotation of Jarrett, Crawford, rookie, and possibly Tupou or a signing on the interior.

Linebacker is much more settled, with three obvious starters in Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell, and Duke Riley. The team’s depth is non-existent right now with LaRoy Reynolds, Kemal Ishmael and Sean Weatherspoon headed elsewhere, which means we’re likely looking at two signings or draft picks to pick up those special teams snaps.

The secondary is pretty settled, too. The Falcons will likely snag a developmental fourth safety late in the draft but go five deep at cornerback, with Damontae Kazee also potentially picking up some time at the nickel. Depth is a little bit of a concern, particularly at corner beyond Blidi Wreh-Wilson, but that’s a back burner concern for the moment.

Overall, the defense is the area in which the Falcons need to focus most of their offseason attention in the months ahead to ensure they don’t lose major ground after last year’s improvements. They need a true starting-caliber defensive tackle, rotational ends and tackles, reserve linebackers, and deep reserves in the secondary before they can consider this thing buttoned up.

Special Teams

The Falcons return Matt Bryant and Matt Bosher, one of the most effective kicker/punter tandems in the NFL. Josh Harris is as steady as they come at long snapper, too, which means the only marquee special teams need is a return. Andre Roberts doesn’t figure to return, leaving the Falcons to either hand the gig over to

This unit has bled useful players this offseason, however. Kemal Ishmael, LaRoy Reynolds, Levine Toilolo, and Sharrod Neasman all played major roles and may not return, leaving Atlanta to either get their young players more time on teams or sign the kind of steady vets they’ve traditionally depended on under Keith Armstrong. It’s something to watch, particularly after the Falcons’ special teams were such a mixed bag last year.