Falcons rookie minicamp kicked off today, and the team has just released an interesting name of tryout players and invitees that’s worth taking a look at.
In addition to their nine man rookie class and 20 undrafted free agent additions, Atlanta’s allowed to bring five veterans who qualify for minicamp and five tryout players in. Aside from the early drafted rookies, every single one of those guys is fighting for a roster spot, so this is a golden opportunity to catch the eyes of the coaching staff, albeit a brief one.
We have invited five tryout players to rookie minicamp. https://t.co/jb6nGb2hP8— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) May 14, 2021
First, the veterans. Tight ends Ryan Becker and Parker Hesse were recent signings and both are block-first tight ends competing in a deep group of players, one that will definitely feature Kyle Pitts, Hayden Hurst and probably Lee Smith, but may have one additional opening. Wide receiver Juwan Green spent time with the Falcons in the past and will be gunning for a practice squad spot in 2021, given the team’s depth at the position. Punter Dom Maggio will be trying to knock 2020 draft pick Sterling Hofrichter off the roster with a great showing this summer, and Chris Williamson will hope to snag one of the team’s final cornerback spots or a practice squad slot.
The tryout players will have an opportunity to earn a signing in the next three days, and the Falcons still have a couple of open roster spots to work with. Eli Ankou is a 27-year-old defensive tackle who has bounced around since entering the league in 2017, playing in 27 games total and picking up 1.5 career sacks. He’ll be looking to push someone like Deadrin Senat or Chris Slayton out of the way for a roster spot, if there’s any room on a crowded defensive tackle depth chart. Defensive tackle Olive Sagapolu, who spent time on the Lions practice squad in 2019, will join him in that competition.
Curtis Bolton is a 25-year-old linebacker who has yet to get into a regular season NFL game, and he’s in the same boat as 24-year-old quarterback Jake Dolegala, in that they’re both competing for practice squad spots with an interesting group of undrafted free agents. C.J. Saunders was most recently seen catching passes from Justin Fields before his pro day, and will be pushing to earn a longer look this summer to join the receiver group.
We wish these guys good luck, and we’ll see if the Falcons sign one of these tryout players when rookie minicamp wraps up.