Knox Talks: NFC South Mailbag, 6/15 Edition
Every Friday I'll ask for NFC South questions to be submitted via e-mail or Twitter. I'll post the best ones here, and answer the rest in a personal response. So, like Pat Benatar so wonderfully said, "Hit me with your best shot."
What's on your mind?
Thanks for the question, Cutter.
Well, a quick glance at the current Atlanta Falcons roster shows six players, four from last year, a drafted rookie and an undrafted rookie free agent.
The team looks good with Thomas DeCoud and William Moore as starters, but because James Sanders left via free agency, the team has a bit of a depth issue.
Shann Schillinger is mainly a special teams guy and Suaesi Tuimaunei was on the practice squad last year. Charles Mitchell was a sixth-round pick out of Mississippi State, but as a rookie, likely won't participate much. Chad Faulcon is on the roster as an UDFA, chances of making the team are not high.
The Falcons will likely try to find a way to bring in a veteran to help out at safety, especially with the new, higher importance the defense is placing on the position. But don't forget about Atlanta's cap problem: there's no money left.
There appear to be 30 safeties still available on the free-agent market, but with Atlanta so close to the cap limit it may prove hard to find the veteran talent you're asking about.
Last season Atlanta carried four safeties on the active roster with one on the practice squad. Moore and DeCoud are locks and Schillinger is pretty safe too. Tuimaunei and Mitchell will likely fight for the one final active spot with the loser headed to the practice squad. Or, if the Falcons do find a veteran safety, those two will battle for that practice squad spot.
Brian, I think what you're asking me is to predict who will win the two available spots on the wide receiver's depth chart. Wow, it's early for that.
Everyone on the planet knows that when Atlanta goes five-wide Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas will be locks to be out there. But who else?
I still think Kerry Meier has something to give to this team. Meier was really impressive during camp of his rookie season before an injury to his knee derailed him. He rehabbed in 2010 and came back in 2011 but wasn't involved much. 2012 may be his season.
After Meier there are a number of possibilities: Kevin Cone, Drew Davis and even Michael Calvin. I still need some time at training camp before I start hypothesizing about the No. 5 spot with the receivers, but I still want to answer this question and I think I can.
What if the Falcons put Jacquizz Rodgers out there? Or what about Tony Gonzalez? If you forced me to give you what I think a five-wide one-deep depth chart would look like on Week 1, right now, here's how it would look:
WR - Julio Jones
LT - Sam Baker
LG - Justin Blalock
C - Todd McClure
RG - Peter Konz
RT - Tyson Clabo
TE - Tony Gonzalez
WR - Roddy White
QB - Matt Ryan
WR - Harry Douglas
WR - Kerry Meier
I think you'd see Rodgers in there a bit too for Meier.
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