The Atlanta Falcons cut down to the best 52 players they had. 52? They only had to cut down to 53, so maybe the guy who originally made it parked in Thomas Dimitroff’s bicycle spot. So far, it sounds like they kept a roster spot open to keep open for players cut by other teams.
Sorry, Austin Pasztor, but Thomas Dimitroff really liked some other players better. Which ones? Well, he isn’t sure yet, but he’s got a pretty good idea, as long as they get cut.
Now that we have the finalish roster, we can take a deep dive at how the depth shakes out. Here are the three worst positions.
The Falcons only kept four defensive ends, and the top three have dealt with injuries in the last few seasons. Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley, and Brooks Reed are definitely a solid top three ends, but we are just one injury away from getting a little too much of run stuffer Derrick Shelby. Dan Quinn might have a higher opinion of Shelby than us, but definitely not by much because Shelby was cut after refusing a pay cut earlier this offseason.
It’d be perfect if that last roster spot went to a defensive end with some pass rushing abilities. If not, lets just hope Steve Sarkisian figures out how to put up 30+ points per game.
Atlanta has a pretty clear depth chart at tight end: Austin Hooper to catch, Logan Paulsen to block, and Eric Saubert to hopefully fill in incase either of those guys get injured. I’m much more worried about replacing Hooper, who looked like an important cog to the offense during first-team drives. Paulsen can most certainly not fill in, and it is unclear if Saubert can be that guy yet.
Atlanta doesn’t have a tight end that should make the practice squad, which would be good to have in case of emergencies. So we really, really, really need Hooper to stay healthy.
Atlanta has one of the best running back duos in the league, but both backs are frequently spending time with the trainer. Every year we get to see the third-string back fill in, and that back this year is Ito Smith. He made a few splash plays this preseason, but everything in between made it look like he is not ready.
It’d be good to see at least one more back on the roster, if not on the practice squad. The Falcons could then promote the back in case of an injury to Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman.