The draft may be over, the undrafted free agents may be signed, and the roster spots remaining are hovering around zero, but these Atlanta Falcons will never be done tweaking the roster. That’s simply not their style.
If you want evidence for that, look no further than this news: The Falcons are working out a pair of wide receivers, one with a name that sounds like a secondary character from a hard-boiled detective novel.
Former Alabama and #Ravens WR Slade Bolden is working out today for the #Falcons, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 2, 2023
Bolden, a former Alabama receiver who joined the Ravens in 2022 as an undrafted free agent, stands 5’11” and 189 pounds, putting him in the author-of-this-post height and weight range. A quality route runner with good hands and special teams experience—he’s handled punts in the past, in particular—Bolden is not huge or overly fast, but can make tough catches. The lack of height and blazing speed would seem to make him an odd addition to this Falcons team, but the special teams value and solid all-around game might make him an appealing addition as summer competition for the wide receiver group.
In 2022, Bolden did not get a chance to play for the Ravens during the regular season, as he was waived/injured in August, placed on injured reserve, and ultimately cut in October. The Falcons will see if he’s healthy and consider adding him to what should be spirited competition for one or two roster spots and a couple of practice squad slots.
The workout we learned about a little bit later was Penny Hart, who is a bit more established at the NFL level. The 5’8”, 180 pound Hart has 11 catches for 82 yards over three seasons with the Seahawks, and has been a consistent special teams contributor in the 39 games he has appeared in thus far in in his NFL career. He has 17 combined tackles over that span, showcasing his value on teams, and has collegiate kick and punt returner experience as well. Faster than Bolden, Hart is like Bolden a slot receiver at the NFL level, and could give the Falcons another return option behind Avery Williams and Cordarrelle Patterson if they do wind up signing him.
With three undrafted free agents having just joined up at the position and the workouts for Bolden and Hart, it’s clear the Falcons aren’t feeling close to settled with their receiver depth, as should be the case given that there are no proven options behind Drake London, Mack Hollins, Scotty Miller, and KhaDarel Hodge. We’ll see if Bolden or Hart are signed and one of them can push their way way on to the roster this summer.