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Falcons set initial 53 man roster

Atlanta now tries to snag their first winning season since 2017 with a new-look group.

NFL: Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons have announced their initial 53 man roster for the 2023 season, bringing to end a fruitful spring and summer that saw the team add talent to a roster starved for it. The next step? Go win some games with it.

On offense, the team trots out a new starting quarterback in Desmond Ridder, plus rookie sensation Bijan Robinson at running back and rookie guard Matthew Bergeron to go with an intriguing group that still has worryingly thin depth at wide receiver and along the offensive line. On defense, the team beefed up and added significant talent at all three levels, with depth at linebacker and questions about the pass rush still the interesting issues with this group. On special teams, the Falcons boast one of the better groups of specialists in the NFL, and if we know one thing, it’s that special teams coordinator Marquice Williams will get the most out of the guys on hand. In summary, this team still has holes, but it’s more talented and more intriguing than it was a year ago by a country mile.

We’ll break down the roster in more detail in the days to come, but for the moment, here it is in all its glory.


QB Desmond Ridder
QB Taylor Heinicke
QB Logan Woodside

RB Bijan Robinson
RB Tyler Allgeier
RB Cordarrelle Patterson

FB Keith Smith

WR Drake London
WR Mack Hollins
WR Scotty Miller
WR KhaDarel Hodge
WR Josh Ali

TE Kyle Pitts
TE John FitzPatrick
TE Jonnu Smith
TE MyCole Pruitt

T Jake Matthews
T Kaleb McGary
T Josh Miles

G Matthew Bergeron
G Chris Lindstrom
G/C Ryan Neuzil
G Kyle Hinton

C Drew Dalman
C/G Jovaughn Gwyn


DL Grady Jarrett
DL David Onyemata
DL Calais Campbell
DL Ta’Quon Graham
DL Zach Harrison
DL Joe Gaziano
DL Albert Huggins

OLB Lorenzo Carter
OLB Bud Dupree
OLB Arnold Ebiketie
OLB DeAngelo Malone

ILB Kaden Elliss
ILB Troy Andersen
ILB Nate Landman
ILB Tae Davis

CB A.J. Terrell
CB Jeff Okudah
CB Dee Alford
CB Tre Flowers
CB Mike Hughes
CB Clark Phillips

S Jessie Bates
S Richie Grant
S Jaylinn Hawkins
S DeMarcco Hellams

Special Teams

K Younghoe Koo

P Bradley Pinion

LS Liam McCullough

Atlanta’s decision to keep John FitzPatrick over Parker Hesse was a surprise to me, even after Hesse played a ton in preseason. It shows a lot of faith in the second-year tight end, who the team hopes can be a big-time asset as a blocker and a useful receiver, as well. Josh Ali held on to the final receiver spot thanks to a strong summer, and deserves applause for working his way up from minicamp invite in 2022 to having a roster spot in the here and now. This is also a squad willing to keep three quarterbacks, which is not a surprise after Logan Woodside fared so well.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of all for me is seeing how many offensive linemen the team kept, something I expect to change in the coming days. Josh Miles, Ryan Neuzil, and Kyle Hinton are on the roster, as anticipated, but rookie Jovaughn Gwyn also made the cut. The team must like him to hold on to him and may think they’ll have better luck sneaking him through to the practice squad later; alternatively, they may like him enough to carry him all year.

Defensively, the surprises are limited, with Joe Gaziano and Albert Huggins holding on over Timothy Horne and...well, that’s really it. DeMarcco Hellams earned his roster spot with a stellar summer, while Tae Davis and Nate Landman hang on as inside linebacker depth, as expected. This is a team that could still use an infusion of depth at linebacker, so we’ll see if they go get it.

Overall, though, even with the shuffling to come this feels like a pretty good roster. How are you feeling about it?