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An early stab at a preferred and likely 2019 Atlanta Falcons roster

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Stacking up two rosters, one fitting what we know about what the Falcons like to do and the other a bit more wishful.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

We recently wrapped up our roster review and look-forward for 2018 and 2019, and after that effort, I’m ready to pull everything together and put together what my preferred roster (based on my look-forward series) and what a likely Falcons roster (based on new coaches and patterns in free agency and the draft) might look like.

On the preferred end, we have a roster that stressed continuity at many positions but advocates for big money, big draft pick overhauls on the lines. The Falcons would come out in this scenario with a top-shelf pass rusher, a first round defensive tackle, and a second day draft addition at guard to go with one of the market’s best players, plus an athletic tackle with some youth on his side. The net result, I think, would be a roster built to contend in 2019 and built to weather attrition into 2020 and beyond, assuming the dollars work out.

The likely end is still a good roster, but it’s one that does not swing for the fences. The Falcons make investments in improvements but choose to make their biggest splashes through the draft, as they often have in recent years, while clearing out players who were not productive in 2018. They’ll be banking on improvement from players who did not show it in 2019, if things unfold this way, and we’ll see if that happens.

Again, this is an early guess on both counts, but I welcome your thoughts about which roster is actually stronger, how plausible each one is, and of course what you would do if you had the reins.

Ideal Roster

QB Matt Ryan
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

RB Devonta Freeman
RB Ito Smith
RB/FB Brian Hill
RB Rookie (5th-7th round)

WR Julio Jones
WR Mohamed Sanu
WR Calvin Ridley
WR Marvin Hall
WR Russell Gage
WR Rookie (6th-UDFA)

TE Austin Hooper
TE Tyler Eifert
TE Eric Saubert

T Jake Matthews
T Ja’Waun James
T Ty Sambrailo

G Rodger Saffold
G Brandon Fusco
G Rookie (2nd-4th rounder)
G Wes Schweitzer

C Alex Mack
C/G Zane Beadles

DE Takkarist McKinley
DE Dee Ford/high-end starter
DE/LB Bruce Irvin
DE Steven Means
DE Rookie (4th-7th rounder)

DT Grady Jarrett
DT Rookie (1st round)
DT Jack Crawford
DT Deadrin Senat

LB Deion Jones
LB De’Vondre Campbell
LB Foye Oluokun
LB Rookie (3rd-5th rounder)
LB Duke Riley
LB Zach Vigil

CB Desmond Trufant
CB Robert Alford
CB Isaiah Oliver
CB Brian Poole
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson
CB Rookie (4th-7th rounder)

S Keanu Neal
S Ricardo Allen
S/CB Damontae Kazee
S Sharrod Neasman
S Rookie (4th-7th rounder)

K Matt Bryant
P Matt Bosher
LS Josh Harris

Likely Roster

QB Matt Ryan
QB Matt Schaub

RB Devonta Freeman
RB Ito Smith
RB Brian Hill

FB Ricky Ortiz

WR Julio Jones
WR Mohamed Sanu
WR Calvin Ridley
WR Rookie (4th-7th round)
WR Marvin Hall
WR Russell Gage

TE Austin Hooper
TE Luke Stocker
TE Eric Saubert
TE Rookie (4th-7th round)

T Jake Matthews
T Daryl Williams
T Ty Sambrailo

G Andy Levitre
G Brandon Fusco
G Wes Schweitzer
G Rookie (2nd-4th round)

C Alex Mack
C/G Zane Beadles

DE Takkarist McKinley
DE Rookie (1st-2nd round)
DE Vic Beasley
DE Brooks Reed
DE/LB Bruce Irvin
DE/DT Steven Means

DT Grady Jarrett
DT Jack Crawford
DT Deadrin Senat
DT Clinton McDonald

LB Deion Jones
LB De’Vondre Campbell
LB Foye Oluokun
LB Duke Riley
LB Zach Vigil
LB Rookie (3rd-7th round)

CB Desmond Trufant
CB Isaiah Oliver
CB Brian Poole
CB Rookie (2nd-4th round)
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson

S Keanu Neal
S Ricardo Allen
S/CB Damontae Kazee
S Sharrod Neasman

K Matt Bryant
P Matt Bosher
LS Josh Harris