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The 2020 Falcons roster after the first wave of free agency

It makes clear that Atlanta still has a long way to go.

Atlanta Falcons v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With the first wave of free agency over, the Falcons have re-signed priority players and added three pretty big names in Dante Fowler, Todd Gurley, and Hayden Hurst.

Let’s talk forest, not trees, though. What does the roster look like after all that activity?


QB Matt Ryan
QB Matt Schaub
QB Kurt Benkert
QB Danny Etling

RB Todd Gurley
RB Ito Smith
RB Brian Hill
RB Qadree Ollison
RB Craig Reynolds
FB Keith Smith

WR Julio Jones
WR Calvin Ridley
WR Russell Gage
WR Laquon Treadwell
WR Olamide Zaccheaus
WR Christian Blake
WR Brandon Powell*

TE Hayden Hurst
TE Jaeden Graham
TE Khari Lee
TE Carson Meier

T Jake Matthews
T Kaleb McGary
T/G John Wetzel
T/G Justin McCray

G James Carpenter
G Chris Lindstrom
G Jamon Brown
G/T Matt Gono
G Sean Harlow

C Alex Mack

The offense is fairly close to a finished product. I fully expect the Falcons to add a young interior offensive lineman in this class (or a young swing tackle, if Sean Harlow is Alex Mack’s backup this year), plus perhaps a complementary back. Adding Laquon Treadwell and Khari Lee probably zips up their wide receiver and tight end additions except for undrafted free agents and small-ticket veterans if injury strikes.

The reality is that with the exception of the OL, the Falcons don’t have any 1-2 year starters they need to scoop up. They’ve invested a ton of money and picks into this offense, and they could start as many as 10 first round picks next year. Get the depth sorted out, and hopefully all will be well.


DE Takk McKinley
DE Dante Fowler
DE Allen Bailey
DE Steven Means
DE Austin Larkin

DT Grady Jarrett
DT Tyeler Davison
DT Deadrin Senat
DT/DE John Cominsky
DT/DE Jacob Tuioti-Mariner

LB Deion Jones
LB Foye Oluokun
LB LaRoy Reynolds
LB Ahmad Thomas

CB Isaiah Oliver
CB Kendall Sheffield
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson
CB Jordan Miller
CB C.J. Reavis

S Keanu Neal
S Ricardo Allen
S Damontae Kazee
S/CB Chris Cooper
S Jamal Carter
S Sharrod Neasman

This group has talent, but is obviously in need of upgrades at multiple spots. The defense should be the focus of the rest of the offseason.

Atlanta’s got a ton of bodies in the secondary, with Chris Cooper looking intriguing last summer, Jamal Carter showing off physicality at least in limited looks, and Neasman serving as a reliable safety. Right now their top two cornerbacks figure to be Isaiah Oliver and Kendall Sheffield, though, and they’re unlikely to stick with that status quo. They’re probably one top-flight corner and Blidi Wreh-Wilson away from being done there.

The front seven needs more help. A second top-flight defensive tackle would make a huge difference, another complementary pass rusher at defensive end is needed, and linebacker is perilously thin after Deion Jones and Foye Oluokun, though the addition of LaRoy Reynolds does help. Expect some low-level signings and a lot of the draft focus to be on remedying this defense’s issues, given that the division figures to be especially tough this year.

Special Teams

K Younghoe Koo

P Ryan Allen
P Sam Irwin-Hill

LS Josh Harris

Also a work in progress. The team will be signing competition for Koo at some point, though I expect him to win the gig, while Allen and Irwin-Hill will duke it out for the punting duties unless neither impresses. Harris is as reliable as they come.

What do you think of this in-flight roster?