Atlanta Falcons: 5 Backups Who Would Start for Other Teams
There are multiple guys who can come right in and start even though they are on the bench on any team. The Atlanta Falcons definitely have five of those players who can start in a pinch.
They have them all over the team and will have to take advantage of them in case of injury situations this season. By having the top notch depth at the following positions, Atlanta will wind up winning quite a few games that will be close otherwise.
WR Harry Douglas
Very few wide receivers are as explosive as Douglas is. He can take a ball from a six-yard slant to a 25-yard gain. His best asset is how he can perform as both a starting returner and wide receiver. Julio Jones was out four games last year, and Douglas stepped right in as a starter.
He posted games of two catches for 57 yards, four catches for 62 yards and four catches for 51 yards in the three games that he started for Jones. Douglas could start as a No. 2 wide receiver on any team in the league and is a true asset for the Falcons.
C/G Joe Hawley or C Todd McClure
Joe Hawley and Todd McClure are competing for the starting role at center in training camp. Right now, it looks like the underrated Hawley will be the one who wins the job. However, don't be shocked if McClure comes back and sneaks the victory.
One thing to note is that no matter who wins, the Falcons have a starting caliber backup at guard and center here. McClure has been a top notch center for the past 10 years and could still start for over 20 teams in the NFL, and Hawley could start for those same teams at either center or guard.
DE Kroy Biermann
Biermann isn't just the guy that married Kim Zolciak. He's also a top player in the Falcons rotation as a pass rushing reserve. He can pass rush, lock down the edge and is a borderline starting caliber player. He should also play a much bigger role in Nolan's hybrid looks.
Biermann should be able to lock down the strong side similar to Jarrett Johnson when the Falcons line up in the 3-4 looks. He also has great coverage skills as shown by his two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the past two years.
CB Dunta Robinson
Robinson may not be a top 10 cornerback in the NFL, but he is easily a starting caliber cornerback and gives the Falcons top depth at the position. With Samuel, Grimes and Robinson, the Falcons have arguably the best nickel package in the NFL.
Robinson can also start in a pinch should Grimes or Samuel miss games and play in the nickel with Franks on the outside. Expect the Falcons to love having a top trio of corners this offseason and Robinson to have his best season statistically in years.
S Chris Hope
He's been to a Pro Bowl and is one of the best safeties of the past 10 years. However, he gets overshadowed from his excellent teammates Michael Griffin and Troy Polamalu. He will experience more of the same with the young Falcons duo of Thomas Decoud and William Moore.
Hope isn't expected to start in 2012, but with Hope, Robinson, Samuel, Grimes, Decoud and Moore on the roster, Mike Nolan has a great group to work with for his nickel and dime packages. Hope's starting ability will be beneficial to have as depth for the Falcons in 2012.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and also runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and the host of Kvetching Draftniks Radio.