Well, the Atlanta Falcons are always good for at least one roster surprise a season.
In 2018, it’s the decision to keep UDFA LB Richard Jarvis on their final count.
Jarvis plays on the strongside for Atlanta and could effectively be considered De’Vondre Campbell’s backup now.
He was a standout at Brown where he found his career as a pass rusher and made his way to Atlanta in April as an undrafted guy. He must’ve had a heck of a summer without a lot of us keying in on it, though he did notch a sack in the team’s unfortunate scrum with the Dolphins Thursday. He also got solid special teams playing time in the last couple of games.
Our head honcho Dave Choate thought he might make the practice squad and had a feeling the team liked him.
Jarvis has had his miscues this offseason, but he’s shown promise as a hard-charging linebacker and special teamer, and the Falcons have given him quite a bit of run to see if he’s worth keeping around. I suspect they’ll determine the answer to that is yes and hold him in reserve as potential special teams help down the line.
The special teams ability certainly helps. If he’s the main SAM backup, he might be active on game days this year, helping out in that capacity.
For those mourning the loss of LB Jonathan Celestin (for now), think about Jarvis’ flexibility to play on the strong side. Celestin filled niches the team already had filled, more or less. They could bring him back to join the practice squad, though he’s probably going to be claimed on the waiver wire by a team who can use him now, given his strong preseason play.
We’ll see how Jarvis figures into Atlanta’s plans for 2018 and beyond, but for now, consider him the surprise of cut day.