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The Falcons have some hard decisions to make along the defensive front as the regular season draws near

Fact: Vic Beasley can’t wink

Baltimore Ravens v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Falcons went into the off-season knowing they’d need to get better up front on defense. Dan Quinn enters stage left, taking on the role of defensive coordinator in addition to his responsibilities as head coach. At the time, Grady Jarrett’s contract situation was still hanging out there, so the Falcons filled out their roster anticipating a potential holdout scenario.

With less than a week to go before the roster cutdown deadline, who has their roster spot locked down? Who’s on the outside looking in? Let’s assume the Falcons carry a total of eleven defensive linemen to start the season and take a stab at how this might shake out. (Remember, the Falcons can carry Hageman during his initial two-week suspension without using a spot on the 53 man roster.)

Roster spot, here we come

Let’s start with the guys who already have a roster spot locked down:

DT: Grady Jarrett, Tyeler Davison, Jack Crawford, Deadrin Senat, Ra’Shede Hageman (Remember, the Falcons can carry Hageman during his initial two-week suspension without using a spot on the 53 man roster)

Edge: Takk McKinley, Vic Beasley, Adrian Clayborn, John Caminsky, Allen Bailey, Durrant Miles

Outside looking in

Now let’s take a look at the guys who are likely cuts headed into the last game of the preseason:

DT: Justin Zimmer, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner

Edge: Austin Larkin, Tre’ Crawford, Chris Odom, Yurik Bethune

Notwithstanding Senat’s struggles to get the coaching staff’s attention, he seemingly did enough Thursday night to secure his spot. I have Senat edging out Zimmer, who had been ahead of him on the depth chart. I also have Durrant Miles making this team. Miles has repeatedly drawn strong praise from the coaching staff, and in particular from Quinn, throughout training camp.

How about you, Falcoholics? How do you see the defensive line shaking out? Discuss!