Come noon tomorrow, we should have at least a few names connected to the Atlanta Falcons practice squad.
What should you expect? While we’ve projected individual names over the last several weeks, here’s a broader look at the kinds of positions and players the Falcons should be looking to add.
- Alex Gray! He’s more or less locked in as the 11th player on the practice squad, and this will be the second straight year where he’s been eligible as an international player. 2019 will be a pivotal year where he’ll actually get to compete for a roster spot, but he won’t be able to in 2018 and will continue to develop.
- A third quarterback. A number of teams elected to keep a third QB this year, but Kurt Benkert didn’t show enough for Atlanta to feel comfortable doing so right off the bat. Whether it’s Benkert, Garrett Grayson, or a young QB released by another team like Luke Falk, Atlanta’s going to scoop one up and have one on hand.
- A fourth running back. The Falcons have virtually never had a practice squad without one, and a number of interesting candidates were released by other teams. With Malik Williams hurt and Justin Crawford having a quiet summer, it might be an outside guy.
- A young interior offensive lineman. With Matt Gono making the roster at tackle, the Falcons are all set at that position, but they could stand to develop a young guard or center for the future. If they can keep Sean Harlow around and try to recoup some value from that investment, so much the better.
- A young defensive end, because Atlanta’s currently carrying just four players at the position (five if you think Justin Zimmer can play some end) and they could lose both Brooks Reed and Derrick Shelby next offseason. It’s high time they started developing a young reserve who might be able to make an impact down the line.
- At least one defensive back, preferably a former wide receiver. Dan Quinn loves those dudes.
I’m hopeful the Falcons will bring back the likes of Benkert, Jonathan Celestin, Harlow, Chris Lammons, and a few others, but as long as they lock up some good young players to develop, I’ll be fine either way. Give us your expectations for the practice squad right here.