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Who are the Falcons roster locks heading into the final preseason game?

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The Falcons are really deciding on, at most, about a quarter of their 53 man roster.

Washington Redskins v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

One of the things that’s easiest to lose in discussions about the Falcons’ roster over the summer is how much of it is already in place. The reality is that there are but two starting jobs that are truly open—both are on the offensive line, where James Carpenter and Jamon Brown are competing at left guard and Ty Sambrailo, Kaleb McGary, and Matt Gono at right tackle—and everything that’s left is depth. I’m not going to talk about kicker because I don’t want to, lalalalala. Even much of the team’s most critical depth is all but locked in.

With that in mind, and with all of us collectively hurtling closer to roster cutdowns, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at the true locks for this roster. There may be a couple of borderline choices here, but I think most everything else is an absolute given.


QB Matt Ryan
QB Matt Schaub

RB Devonta Freeman
RB Ito Smith

WR Julio Jones
WR Mohamed Sanu
WR Calvin Ridley
WR Russell Gage

TE Austin Hooper
TE Luke Stocker

T Jake Matthews
T Kaleb McGary
T Ty Sambrailo

G James Carpenter
G Jamon Brown
G Chris Lindstrom

C Alex Mack

DE Vic Beasley
DE Takk McKinley
DE Adrian Clayborn
DE Allen Bailey
DE John Cominsky

DT Grady Jarrett
DT Jack Crawford
DT Tyeler Davison

LB Deion Jones
LB De’Vondre Campbell
LB Foye Oluokun

CB Desmond Trufant
CB Isaiah Oliver
CB Damontae Kazee
CB Jordan Miller
CB Kendall Sheffield

S Ricardo Allen
S Keanu Neal

P Matt Bosher

LS Josh Harris


That adds up to 37 players who can be considered true locks, based on either past performance, contracts, or a combination of draft status and fit. There are several players like Justin Hardy, Wes Schweitzer, Deadrin Senat, and Chris Cooper who feel like they’re extremely strong bets to make the roster, but are not guaranteed. Realistically, there’s probably about 10 spots that are somewhat in doubt at the moment, and that’s more outside doubt than doubt inside Flowery Branch, I’m sure.

In the end, the opportunities for us to be truly surprised are probably few and far between, with the defensive line (where Justin Zimmer, Austin Larkin, and Durrant Miles could all sneak on) and linbacker (where there are a ton of promising young guys competing for a couple of spots) looming at the most uncertain. We’re only days away from finding out if the Falcons have any major surprises in store for us, but I sort of doubt it.

Stay tuned for Kevin Knight’s latest 53 man roster project at noon today!