There has been an array of roster moves, reserve/COVID-19 list placements, and signings in recent days for the Atlanta Falcons, which might make it a little difficult to keep up with where the roster stands today. As a public service, then, we’re re-visiting the roster as it stands today and as of this writing, where the Falcons have exactly 80 players on the active roster and a handful more on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Players who are technically not on the roster because of COVID-19 are marked as such. Let’s take a look and discuss the state of the roster.
Keith Smith (reserve/COVID-19 list)
Dante Fowler Jr.
Set aside COVID-19 for a moment. Where are this roster’s weaknesses and strengths at the moment?
The Falcons don’t just have one of the better duos in football in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, they also have a ton of options. Russell Gage showed last year he can be an asset, Laquon Treadwell is at worst a solid #4 guy, and Olamide Zaccheaus has intriguing speed and should get a chance to prove himself more this year. Blake, Gray, and especially electric returner option Chris Rowland all figure to be useful depth at worst if the Falcons want to keep them, and that’s not even everyone on the list. The Falcons are set here as long as everyone stays healthy.
Ideally, you’d have another elite guy here, but that’s not changing with the team’s cap situation and since the draft has come and gone. Takk and Fowler are quality starters and the depth here is good, with Bailey figuring to bounce back, Means a well-rounded reserve option, and Harris, Cominsky, and perhaps Edwards having upside that e haven’t seen yet.
It’s still a young group, but the talent with Terrell, Oliver, and Sheffield should be a relative strength for Atlanta. The addition of Dennard, plus the presence of Blidi Wreh-WIlson, makes the depth here very solid as well.
Matthews is very good, but McGary is still relatively unproven and I’m not 100% sure the Falcons will seriously consider Gono as a swing tackle option this year. There’s just not a lot of depth here if something goes wrong, and the depth they do have outside of Gono (Wetzel, possibly McCray, the UDFAs) isn’t top-shelf.
This group could be terrific if Hurst breaks out and Jared Pinkney and Jaeden Graham live up to their potential, but as it stands it’s an extremely unproven group and not a particularly deep one on paper. I’ll be concerned about it until we see some quality performances on the field.
Maybe my biggest position of concern, and I say that as a big fan of both Oluokun and Walker. Deion Jones is just the only proven high-end starter here, and the depth isn’t considerable at all. I still wonder if we might see a signing here if Bucannon doesn’t impress early here in camp.
What are your impressions of the roster as it stands?