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Falcons waive DE Austin Larkin, two others as they whittle roster down

A couple of these cuts are legitimately surprising, given the talent on display.

NFL: DEC 29 Falcons at Buccaneers Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When I put together my practice squad projection earlier this week, I tried to pick young players who have promise and fill apparent needs for the team. Those kinds of projections are inherently a bit of a crapshoot, given that we don’t know what the team is thinking, but I knew that’d be even more the case in 2020 without frequent observations from training camp from Jeanna and other Falcons reporters.

I just didn’t expect them to cut Austin Larkin this early in the summer.

Larkin had a very good preseason a year ago and became a bit of a fan favorite in the process, and then he bounced on and off the Falcons practice squad during the 2019 season. That experience, the team’s ongoing need for quality defensive line depth, and his promise as a pass rusher made me think he was likely ticketed for the practice squad in 2020. Instead, it appears he’ll try to latch on with another team or re-join Atlanta if injuries strike later in the year. I’m a bit disappointed, because he’s a player I genuinely liked.

Rojesterman Farris was another one of those. The productive UDFA defensive back had an intriguing blend of aforementioned production and athletic ability, but he’s gone (at least temporarily) with plenty of defensive backs still on the roster, which isn’t a great sign for him. Like Larkin, he’ll hope to latch on elsewhere in the near term with teams looking at expanded rosters and practice squads.

Young was another interesting defensive lineman with size and power who put up 5.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks in his senior season. Same story with him in terms of signing elsewhere, and we wish all three of these guys well.

The cuts likely mean the Falcons are either adding players, getting guys back from the reserve/COVID-19 list, or both. We’ll wait for those corresponding moves and see what cuts are yet to come.