The preseason is officially over, and now it’s nearly time for the moment we have long waited for. On Sunday at 1 p.m. the Atlanta Falcons will host the Philadelphia Eagles, kicking off not only the regular season for both teams, but also the new regime of head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot.
With the game only days away, the Falcons have revealed the depth chart for the season opener, which you can view below.
QB: Matt Ryan, Feleipe Franks or Josh Rosen
RB: Mike Davis, Cordarrelle Patterson, Wayne Gallman
WR: Calvin Ridley, Tajae Sharpe or Christian Blake
WR: Russell Gage, Olamide Zaccheaus, Frank Darby
TE: Kyle Pitts, Lee Smith
TE: Hayden Hurst, Keith Smith
LT: Jake Matthews, Jason Spriggs
LG: Jalen Mayfield, Colby Gossett
C: Matt Hennessy, Drew Dalman
RG: Chris Lindstrom, Drew Dalman
RT: Kaleb McGary, Jason Spriggs
DL: Grady Jarrett, Marlon Davidson
DL: Tyeler Davison, Ta’Quon Graham
DL: Jonathan Bullard, John Cominsky
OLB: Steven Means, Brandon Copeland or Jacob Tuioti-Mariner
LB: Deion Jones, Mykal Walker
LB: Foyesade Oluokun, Dorian Etheridge
OLB: Dante Fowler Jr., Adetokunbo Ogundeji
CB: A.J. Terrell, T.J. Green, Darren Hall or Avery Williams
CB: Fabian Moreau, Isaiah Oliver, Kendall Sheffield
S: Erik Harris, Jaylinn Hawkins
S: Duron Harmon, Richie Grant
K: Younghoe Koo
P: Cameron Nizialek
LS: Josh Harris
H: Cameron Nizialek
PR: Avery Williams
KOR: Cordarrelle Patterson
After weeks of saying “this depth chart doesn’t really matter” during the preseason, this is one that finally does matter. We can see from the chart listed above that the offense is in a slightly different format than we’re used to seeing. Although he’s listed as a tight end, Keith Smith will continue to play fullback when the formation calls for it. Jason Spriggs will serve as the team’s swing tackle as he’s the only backup tackle on the roster. You may notice Drew Dalman will also play backup to two different positions, center and right guard.
It will be baptism by fire for rookie Jalen Mayfield, who will serve as the starting left guard on Sunday. It’s unclear if this was the plan all along or if Josh Andrews’ broken hand injury played into this. Recently claimed left guard Colby Gossett will be behind him in case the team decides to make a change.
On the defensive side of things, no huge surprises. It’s good to see Jonathan Bullard listed as a starter on the defensive line as he flashed often during the preseason in limited snaps. T.J. Green, who was listed as a safety during much of the offseason, will serve as a backup corner to A.J. Terrell.
As I said, not many surprises here, but hopefully this roster is able to come away from Week 1 with a win.