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Competition for roster spots should rule the day for the Falcons this summer

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At training camp and in preseason, the Falcons will have fierce competition for spots.

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, a competition is actually a bad thing. If you don’t have a set starter at a position, and your options competing for the gig are less than inspiring, you have a competition that’s not ideal at all. Give me Alex Mack at center over James Stone and Mike Person fighting over the gig, for example.

When we’re talking about the tail end of the roster, however, competition is rarely a bad thing. The Falcons figure to have fierce battles this summer for the final spots on the 53 man roster, including multiple players fighting for a single spot at some positions, and the cream should theoretically rise to the top. That’ll make an offseason where they are few starting jobs up for grabs a lot more interesting.

Take cornerback. The Falcons currently have three clear-cut starters and one very valuable reserve in Brian Poole. Assuming they’ll keep five cornerbacks—a safe assumption, I think—that leaves Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Leon McFadden, Justin Bethel, and some interesting undrafted types fighting over one spot, or perhaps two if the Falcons really want to splurge at the position. Bethel’s special teams value gives him a real leg up, but the team clearly thinks McFadden is worse keeping around, Wreh-Wilson was surprisingly good a year ago, and a young player could sneak in to this competition.

Or take fullback, where there’s only one job open and the team has two undrafted free agents on presumably even footing. Or wide receiver, where Russell Gage, Marvin Hall, Reggie Davis, and an interesting crop of undrafted players will be fighting for one or two gigs. In every case, the Falcons are not in a position where they should need to keep any uninspiring options for those final spots, because they have enough players fighting over spots that there should be a a gem (or at least a competent player) in the mix at all of these spots.

Given that fullback is the only starting spot truly up for grabs this summer, that’s going to make for a little low-key drama where we might otherwise be lacking it. At the end of the day, it should only benefit this football team.