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Falcons fans expect few UDFAs to make Atlanta’s roster in 2022

Even with abundant roster turnover this offseason, Falcons fans expect three or fewer UDFAs to make the team in 2022.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons OTA Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Training camp is fast approaching, with the first practices coming in just a few weeks. We’ve experienced a busy offseason from the Atlanta Falcons, with a lot of moves in free agency and eight selections in the 2022 NFL Draft. They’ve also elected to “eat their vegetables”, swallowing a ton of dead cap—with more potentially on the way if Deion Jones is moved—this season to clean up their finances for 2023 and beyond. Atlanta is up to $63.2M in dead cap for this year, with $40.5M of it from the trade of Matt Ryan.

That’ll help a lot in 2023, where the team is currently sitting on $38.1M in cap space with 49 players under contract, but it made adding a lot of impact starters difficult this offseason. Instead, the Falcons signed a handful of reliable veteran starters and a number of depth pieces with upside. Still, this isn’t exactly what you’d call a high-end roster, and Atlanta also brought in over a dozen UDFAs to compete.

With camp on the horizon, we asked Falcons fans how many UDFAs they expected to make Atlanta’s 53-man roster. Despite the turnover on the roster and lack of money spent in free agency, fans overwhelmingly seem to think that three or fewer undrafted players will make the team.

For the record, I’d tend to agree. While there aren’t a lot of high-end starters on the depth chart, there are a lot of young draft picks and solid veteran pieces. The best chance for a UDFA player was probably at punter, where Seth Vernon was initially slated to take on Dom Maggio for the starting job. But Maggio was released recently in favor of veteran Bradley Pinion—who figures to be much tougher to unseat for Vernon.

Other than Vernon, I think linebacker Nate Landman is the other obvious choice to make the roster. If Deion Jones is traded and Landman continues his impressive offseason into camp, I think he’s currently the favorite for the fifth and final LB spot on the roster. The next best chance to make the team probably comes on the defensive line, as Atlanta has spots up for grabs and signed three UDFAs (Timmy Horne, Bryce Rogers, and Derrick Tangelo) to compete.

It’ll be tough everywhere else. Another name to watch is Dee Alford at cornerback—though he’s not technically a UDFA since he’s coming from the CFL. There are always a ton of wide receiver signings and the chance that someone could really impress in training camp.

What do you think about this year’s group of UDFAs? Any players you expect to make the final roster?

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