Surprise Players Who Could Make the Atlanta Falcons' 53-Man Roster
The Falcons have 90 players on the training camp roster and will have quite a few surprises along the way to get to their 53-man roster. However, one thing will remain constant, the players who make the roster on the fringe will get their spots by earning the job in training camp.
Kevin Cone, Wide Receiver
Role: No. 5 Wide Receiver, Gunner on Kick and Punt Coverage teams
Kevin Cone finished the 2011 season as the No. 5 wide receiver due to injuries to the guys ahead of him. However, he made the most of it and was in on quite a few special teams plays. He's still very raw as a receiver, but his special teams abilities are what will earn him a roster spot in 2012.
Cone did very well as a gunner in 2011 and will continue to do the same in 2012. There is a possibility the Falcons carry six wide receivers, and if they do, Cone is guaranteed a spot on the roster. Expect the competition for No. 5 wide receiver to be the winner between Cone and James Rodgers.
LaMark Brown, Tight End
Role: No. 3 Tight End, H-back, Gunner on Kick and Punt Coverage teams
Brown is a former Kansas State and University of Minnesota-Mankato wide receiver and running back. The Falcons saw something in him that said that he could be a good candidate for the H-back and backup tight end role.
Brown has been impressing in camp, but he will need to prove that he can be a good candidate as a blocker as well as a receiver in order to earn his roster spot. He will have to fight off multiple other rookies as he tries to win the job.
Travian Robertson, Defensive Tackle
Role: No. 4 Defensive Tackle, Nose Tackle for three linemen sets
Robertson is a 6'4", 305-pound monster in the middle of the defense. He fell to the seventh round of the 2012 draft because of an extremely deep defensive tackle class. His best asset is easily his strength and size combination.
Robertson also has another huge thing going for him. He can play the nose tackle on three linemen sets. Mike Nolan likes to vary up his defensive front seven alignments and will allow Robertson to be used both as the 1-technique 4-3 nose tackle and a 0-technique 3-4 and 3-3-5 nose tackle.
Jerrel Harris, Linebacker
Role: Backup outside linebacker and special teams replacement for Akeem Dent.
Akeem Dent has moved up from special teams authority and backup middle linebacker to the new centerpiece of the defense. Now, the Falcons need someone to step up. Harris has been doing very well in training camp so far.
The Alabama product has been looking good not just as a special teams player, but he has also looked very solid as a linebacker. He will have to earn his spot on the roster from Robert James. In order to do that, he will have to step up on special teams.
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 runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and host Kvetching Draftniks Radio.
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