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Who will fill the Falcons’ last roster spot?

We mull over where the team might opt to add a new face.

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Well, now that we have an idea of who the Atlanta Falcons kept and let go, we have 52 guys who will be on the sidelines each Sunday.

Well, as you know, NFL teams have 53 players on the roster. So Atlanta’s one short.

The roster, as of now, is stacked to the brim with talent and promise, and not many spots have much breathing room at all.

We don’t expect any new faces around these parts: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive tackle, safety, cornerback...oh, and kicker, punter, long snapper. Ricky Ortiz should also hang on to that fullback spot.

So that basically leaves defensive end and linebacker as the two potentials.

With Richard Jarvis making the team, linebacker has six spots and could maybe take another, but if that’s the case, why not keep Celestin?

If you’d like to whittle down the options here, that basically means it’s looking like a pass rusher.

Now, that doesn’t mean it’s for sure a pass rusher (heck, maybe there’s a random guard somewhere they want to claim), but it feels likely that it’ll be a pass rusher.

Gold Rush

Could it be one acquired via trade? Unlikely. The Falcons aren’t looking for a starter; just a guy to salt the ice a bit at the spot. Vic Beasley, Takk McKinley and Brooks Reed will all rotate in and out to affect the QB, while Derrick Shelby assist against the run and do a little rushing himself; ditto for Jack Crawford, who’s versatile.

The Falcons do need some depth, though, and could afford to rotate a guy in and out to make sure the top guys aren’t getting too much run early in the year.

There will be no shortage of names to pop up as the day wears on, but two stick out: Vikings DE Brian Robison and Saints OLB Hau’oli Kikaha.

Robison was a surprise cut in Minnesota, a stalwart Viking who had about a nine-sack ceiling but would never dip below four a season post-2011 after entering the league in 2007. Minnesota has a bevy of riches in its trenches, which might signal why Robison is now looking for work. He’s also 35 and might be entering the twilight of his career.

As a flat-out cut, he’ll be allowed to go wherever he wants, so watch for Robison to eye a contender. He’ll have his suitors. Could one of them be Atlanta? He’d be very sound depth at the spot and could help filter in here and there. If injury hits that spot, you feel better about everything with a guy like Robison in tow.

Kikaha was a second-round pick by the Saints in 2015 and has never struggled to flash his talents when healthy. But that’s been the problem, his health. He played his entire rookie season before missing all of 2016 with injury. He also ended 2017 on the IR after a decent campaign. He’ll be subject to the waiver wire, and someone will no doubt want to get him in their system and see what he’s got. Could one of those teams be Atlanta? Maybe he could come into his own with a change of scenery and new training plan.

Regardless of where this goes, pass rusher feels like the most likely spot for where the last roster spot goes, unless we’re in for a stash-and-dash claim at a random spot.

We’ll see where Sunday takes us here.