Now that free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft draft are (mostly) behind us, it’s time to take a closer look at the Atlanta Falcons’ roster heading in to the summer. Outside of a few additions and subtractions here and there in the course of training camp and the preseason, this is the roster Atlanta will be working with during the 2022 season.
We’ll kick things off with a look at the projected starters and players competing for those spots. Next up is special teams. Unchanged for nearly a decade, the group has undergone significant turnover in recent years. Kicker Younghoe Koo is the only returning starter, while long snapper and punter will be manned by new faces in 2022.
Next up, former UDFA long snapper Liam McCullough.
LS Liam McCullough
Contract: $705K cap hit in 2022, ERFA in 2023
Career Production: N/A
2021 Production: N/A
Previous Teams: UDFA signed by the Las Vegas Raiders (2020), Pittsburgh Steelers (2020), Las Vegas Raiders (2021), Atlanta Falcons (2022)
RAS: N/A | 6’2, 237
It’s been a very long time since we’ve had a new face at the long snapper position. Veteran stalwart Josh Harris manned the position quite admirably for the Falcons from 2012-2021, forming a reliable trio with Matt Bryant and Matt Bosher for the better part of a decade. For reasons that escape me—Josh Harris is just 33 and presumably still has many years left before retirement—Atlanta let Harris walk to the Los Angeles Chargers where he’d sign for just $1.4M/yr (which, to be fair, is the highest LS contract in the NFL).
In his place, the team was ready to have a competition between longtime Tennessee Titans long snapper Beau Brinkley and 2020 UDFA Liam McCullough. A wrench got thrown into that plan early in the offseason, as Brinkely wound up on season-ending IR just after the 2022 NFL Draft. That left McCullough as the last man standing, and with no further moves made, he’s the unquestioned starter heading into training camp.
McCullough has not yet snapped the ball in a regular-season NFL game, but he did have a long and storied career at Ohio State. He handled the snapping duties from 2016-2019, with 577 consecutive good snaps and flawless performances in 54/55 games. McCullough was a finalist for the Patrick Mannelly Award in his final season, which is given to the best long snapper in the country. Although we’ve yet to see him play a down in the NFL, his body of work in college suggests that he has what it takes to be a successful NFL long snapper.
Projection: Liam McCullough is currently the unquestioned starter at long snapper heading into training camp. As long as there are no hiccups in the preseason, McCullough should have a shot at earning a long-term job in Atlanta.