Full Training Camp Roster Breakdown for the Atlanta Falcons

Scott CarasikContributor IIJuly 18, 2013

Full Training Camp Roster Breakdown for the Atlanta Falcons

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    The 2013 Atlanta Falcons are undergoing a re-tooling after finishing just 10 yards short of a Super Bowl appearance in the 2012 season. They bring back eight offensive starters and nine defensive starters from the 2012 season. 

    But they also lose some of their best players from 2012 and prior seasons.

    The Falcons will have to replace key former starters in Dunta Robinson, Brent Grimes, John Abraham, Tyson Clabo and Michael Turner.

    The burden to replace these long-time Falcons will rest upon the youth the team has. The signings of Steven Jackson and Osi Umenyiora will allow some of that burden to be diminished. However, competition should be fierce all throughout the roster.

    But the Falcons' training camp roster will be quite a bit different than it was in 2012. Let's do a quick run-down of each player, shall we?

     

    Note: Listed next to names are given roster numbers. 

Quarterbacks

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    2 Matt Ryan

    Matt Ryan will be the starting quarterback for the Falcons again without question. His abilities to lead the team both on and off the field make this spot set for as long as he will be in Atlanta. Hopefully the Falcons have his new deal signed by the time camp kicks off.

     

    4 Dominique Davis

    Going into the 2012 preseason and training camp, Dominique Davis was just working to be Ryan's backup for a second time. This year, he's proven his worth to become the primary backup behind Ryan and will be the No. 2 for the 2013 season.

     

    12 Sean Renfree

    Sean Renfree was one of the best quarterbacks in Duke football history. That's not really saying much in general, but the Falcons could have a truly talented third-string quarterback in Renfree. He's got prototypical size and a good arm and should be able to win a spot over Seth Doege.

     

    9 Seth Doege

    Texas Tech had a good quarterback in Seth Doege. And he has real potential to make an NFL roster on either a 53-man roster or the practice squad. Doege will have to beat Sean Renfree for his roster spot in Atlanta, and that's not highly likely.

Running Backs

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    39 Steven Jackson

    Coming into camp for the first time with a Falcons logo on his helmet, Steven Jackson will be the starting running back. His role will be to absorb his duties in the offense and the blocking schemes that the Falcons will be running to maximize his abilities.

     

    32 Jacquizz Rodgers

    Rodgers is in his third camp with the Falcons and, as such, should be gearing up his role again. While Steven Jackson should see around 250 carries and 30 catches, Rodgers will be gearing up for a role of about 100 carries and 40 catches.

     

    44 Jason Snelling

    Jason Snelling is a fullback, running back, shotgun back and just all-around weapon for the Falcons. He will be competing for a role on special teams and as the third-string running back again, but he is going into camp the easy favorite for one of the four running back jobs.

     

    35 Antone Smith

    Antone Smith has been part of the Falcons for each of the past four seasons as a special teams ace. However, his best chance to make the roster could also be his downfall in 2013. He will have to beat out multiple rookie and second-year free agents to maintain his spot on the roster.

     

    45 Ronnie Wingo

    He can do what Antone Smith has done the past two seasons. Oh, and he can actually run the ball, catch out of the backfield and line up as a wide receiver as well. Wingo could actually factor into the Falcons offense if given a shot.

     

    33 Donald Russell

    Rookie free agents tend to have a shot at the roster on special teams. Donald Russell should be no different. He will have to show that he can earn his role over Wingo, Smith and Vaughan, though.

     

    30 Josh Vaughan

    Josh Vaughan is a bit of a power back. But he's also a bit older than the average camp fodder that the Falcons have brought in. Unfortunately, that's all he will be. His role is going to be to take hits so that Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling don't have to.

Fullbacks

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    34 Bradie Ewing

    Bradie Ewing is coming into the 2013 season as the starting fullback. It's a role he was drafted for and should be able to earn. If he has any issues from his 2012 ACL injury, that would be the only thing that could set him back from rightfully earning his starting spot.

     

    42 Patrick DiMarco

    DiMarco earned five games' worth of duty for the Kansas City Chiefs last season. However, they brought in a number of fullbacks to try and replace him. He will have to earn the starting role; otherwise, he will be getting cut after training camp ends.

     

    43 DeVonte Campbell

    DeVonte Campbell looks like a true training camp body. He won't likely win the starting spot, and his best role is as an H-back and not as a true fullback. He's mediocre on special teams as well, and unless he shocks the world, he won't make it past first cuts.

Wide Receivers

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    11 Julio Jones

    At receiver, Julio Jones and Roddy White have formed arguably the best starting tandem in the league for the past two seasons. Jones will be coming into camp as one of the veterans now, and his focus will be on learning as much as he can on how to exploit defenses around him.

     

    84 Roddy White 

    Roddy White is guaranteed not just a roster spot, but a starting spot with how he has played over the past six years, as he has had at least 80 catches, 1,150 yards and six touchdowns in each of them. His role in camp will be as a mentor to the entire corps.

     

    83 Harry Douglas

    Harry Douglas is in a unique situation in that he could be a camp casualty if either Drew Davis or Tim Toone steps up to the point that they are a better option. Douglas has been a solid option through the years but has never taken the next step everyone expected.

     

    19 Drew Davis

    Davis has been a surprise addition to the active roster over each of the past two seasons. But his play on special teams and role as a solid fourth receiver option make him one of the better players competing for one of the last two or three spots on the roster at receiver.

     

    15 Kevin Cone

    Kevin Cone is another guy whose special teams acumen has earned him a roster spot the past two seasons. He was a raw project coming out of Georgia Tech's option offense, but if his receiving ability has caught up with his special teams ability, the Falcons could have a faster Brian Finneran in him.

     

    17 Tim Toone

    Tim Toone is a former Mr. Irrelevant for the Detroit Lions. He showed prowess as a deep threat in 2012's preseason. If he can show the same kind of ability in 2013 and also win the punt-return job, then there is no reason for the Falcons to cut him.

     

    18 James Rodgers

    James Rodgers spent the 2012 season on the Falcons practice squad. He has a leg up on the other guys competing for the final receiver spot, but he will have to prove his worth on special teams to earn that final roster spot. 

     

    14 Martel Moore

    Martel Moore is a big reason why Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch was able to refine his passing game in 2012. Now that the former Huskie No. 1 receiver is in Atlanta, he will hope to rekindle magic in the preseason that will allow him to overtake Davis or Cone for a roster spot.

     

    16 Marcus Jackson

    Jackson is another 2012 practice-squad holdover who should be afforded a shot at a roster spot. Playing at small-school Lamar in Texas, Jackson didn't have the ability to impress people in college very easily. But he has had a full season on a professional practice squad and could surprise people in camp.

     

    13 Darius Johnson

    Darius Johnson is a guy who will try and steal the slot role from Harry Douglas in camp this year. While he isn't likely to win the job, he has all the tools to be a dangerous slot option. If he can earn a spot on at least the practice squad, that will be a win for the former SMU Mustang.

     

    89 Rashad Evans

    Rashad Evans has speed and agility to be a threat as a return specialist. He doesn't provide much in the receiving game, but he could end up as a fifth wide receiver option if the Falcons go with that kind of package on the field on game days.

Tight Ends

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    88 Tony Gonzalez

    Tony Gonzalez will be heading into his fifth season as a starter for the Falcons. As arguably the greatest man to ever play tight end in NFL history, he should have the starting job locked up. He's got an entire role in the offense designed around his final season.

     

    86 Chase Coffman

    Chase Coffman is a dark horse to be the long-term replacement for Tony Gonzalez. While he had to eventually earn a role on the roster due to injuries to Tommy Gallarda last season, he's really shown his worth as a receiver in the playoffs. If he can improve his blocking, he could be that long-term starter.

     

    80 Levine Toilolo

    Toilolo is an intriguing prospect. Despite being a fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft, he will have to compete with Coffman and Gallarda for the backup role in the offense. He's a better blocker than Coffman and a much better receiver than Gallarda.

     

    87 Tommy Gallarda

    Gallarda leaves a lot to be desired as a receiving tight end. While the Falcons love his blocking, they could easily just go with more jumbo sets by having Mike Johnson out there. Add in that Levine Toilolo isn't much of a drop-off blocking wise, and Gallarda could be on the outside looking in when camp ends.

     

    85 Andrew Szczerba and 81 Colin Cloherty

    One guy was on the practice squad last season. The other guy was on another team's practice squad last season. Both look like training camp fodder and possible practice-squad guys this season. Neither one should make it out of camp.

Offensive Tackles

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    72 Sam Baker

    Sam Baker was a bust. No questions about it. But now he's earned his starting spot and his long-term contract. If the Falcons get the Baker of 2012 for the next six seasons, he will have easily earned his money. But if they get the Baker from 2010-2011, they will need to find a new left tackle...and fast.

     

    79 Mike Johnson

    Johnson starts camp as the leader to take the starting right tackle job. The 2010 third-round pick is finally getting his shot to start and will likely compete at both tackle and guard during camp. If he loses at right tackle, don't be shocked if he takes the right guard role easily.

     

    76 Lamar Holmes

    The 2012 third-round pick will compete with Mike Johnson for the starting right tackle job. If he can take a dominating edge early in the competition, then he can go ahead and start working on chemistry with his guard. Holmes has the same kind of size and strength as Tyson Clabo, but he could be faster and a better pass-blocker.

     

    73 Ryan Schraeder

    He's the early favorite for the left tackle backup role. He has solid feet and technique, but playing at a small school is why he went undrafted. He should get a shot at a lot of playing time in the preseason as he competes with Alec Savoie.

     

    64 Alec Savoie

    Alec Savoie will get a ton of reps as a left tackle reserve competing with Ryan Schraeder behind Sam Baker. He's got quick feet, but needs a ton of work technically before he could actually end up on the main roster.

     

    74 Terren Jones

    The biggest player on the Falcons training camp roster is the massive 6'7-3/4", 341-pound Terren Jones. He's got quick enough feet to earn a roster spot as either a right tackle reserve or blocking tight end. His best shot for a roster spot will be on the practice squad this season.

Offensive Guards

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    63 Justin Blalock

    Justin Blalock has been a rock on the Falcons line since being drafted in 2007 and earning the starting left guard job that year. He has started every single game from 2008 to 2012 at left guard, and 2013 should be no different.

     

    75 Garrett Reynolds

    He was the opening day starter the last two seasons, but as it sits right now, Garrett Reynolds will have to earn his spot back again this year. He was solid in the 2012 season until an injury sidelined him after six games. With Peter Konz moving back to center, he only has Phillipkeith Manley and Mike Johnson to beat.

     

    68 Phillipkeith Manley

    Phillipkeith Manley is one of the three names being tossed around for the starting right guard job with Reynolds and Mike Johnson. His frame is large at 6'3-1/2" and around 330 pounds, and he can push a pile. It will be interesting to see how close he comes to earning the starting job.

     

    69 Harland Gunn

    Gunn won a spot on the roster toward the middle of the 2012 season. The Falcons used him as a reserve, and he was never active on game days. It would be a surprise if they kept 10 linemen on the 53-man roster again, so he will have to earn a spot over Jacques McClendon or Phillipkeith Manley.

     

    77 Theo Goins

    A former standout at Central Florida, Theo Goins will have a fight to possibly earn a roster spot. While he isn't technically there yet, he does have a ton of raw tools that could be molded into a solid guard. He will be battling for a roster spot with Harland Gunn and Phillipkeith Manley.

     

    65 Jacques McClendon

    McClendon truly wants a roster spot and has been busting his hump as a center and a guard. He should earn his role on the roster as a backup, the only true question is where. A former fourth-round pick for the Colts, he has the potential to be a strong long-term reserve.

Centers

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    66 Peter Konz

    After being selected in the second round of the 2012 draft, Konz spent his rookie season playing right guard. With a year learning next to Todd McClure under his belt, he should be in prime position to win the starting center job for the Falcons.

     

    61 Joe Hawley

    Joe Hawley is going to compete with Peter Konz for the starting role at center. Hawley has more experience at guard, though. He should also compete there, and it would not shock anyone to see him as the starting right guard on opening day.

     

    67 Matt Smith

    Matt Smith was a three-year starter for the Kentucky Wildcats and was a solid performer during his time there. However, he has an uphill battle to earn a roster spot. He'll have to compete with not just Joe Hawley, but also Jacques McClendon and the other guards, for the final center or guard spot.

Defensive Tackles

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    95 Jonathan Babineaux

    Jonathan Babineaux is the longest-tenured Falcons defender. He's the one who will be guaranteed a starting spot on the line. In 2012, he played mainly 5-technique defensive end and 3-technique defensive tackle. He will be looking at a role where he moves back into more interior positions this season with better defensive ends on the roster.

     

    91 Corey Peters

    Corey Peters has bulked up this offseason now that he hasn't had to worry about a foot injury. He will resume his role as a 1-technique nose tackle and 3-technique under tackle. He is a lock to make the roster as well and will be ensuring that he has the starting role over Peria Jerry.

     

    94 Peria Jerry

    This is Peria Jerry's last shot to earn a starting role on the line. He's not as good as the player who was drafted in 2009, and now it's time for the Falcons to see if the 29-year-old defensive tackle is worth anything past this season. If the Falcons sign Richard Seymour, Jerry will be fighting for his roster spot.

     

    92 Travian Robertson

    Travian Robertson earned a spot on the 53-man roster in 2012. He is competing again and should be in the lead for the fourth spot in the defensive tackle corps. If the Falcons sign Richard Seymour, then he will have to add Peria Jerry to Micanor Regis as a competitor for that final spot.

     

    97 Micanor Regis

    Regis was a solid player at Miami in 2011 who earned a spot on the 2012 practice squad with his abilities as a big-bodied tackle. It's unlikely that he will be able to earn the final roster spot with competition from all angles, but he could easily show enough in camp to earn another practice squad spot. 

     

    67 Adam Replogle and 64 Neal Huynh

    Adam Replogle and Neal Huynh are a pair of undrafted free agents who won't truly be in the competition for a roster spot. Both players have shown a prowess to create pressure on the interior, but neither one is good enough to outright win a roster spot in the 2013 season.

Defensive Ends

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    90 Osi Umenyiora

    The Falcons have two different kinds of players on their roster at defensive end. They have guys who can play linebacker and defensive end, as well as guys who can play defensive tackle and defensive end. Osi Umenyiora is the veteran who fits within the linebacker sub-grouping. He is the Falcons' best veteran linebacker-style pass-rush specialist and should start as the de facto right defensive end.

     

    71 Kroy Biermann

    On the left side, there are three possible starters—Kroy Biermann, Malliciah Goodman and Jonathan Massaquoi. Biermann is a linebacker-style end who could easily end up as the starter. But his best role is as a rotational guy who plays around 50 percent of the total snaps by splitting time on both sides. 

     

    93 Malliciah Goodman

    Malliciah Goodman is someone who can play anywhere from a 3-technique tackle to a 5-technique end to a 6- or 7-technique end in the base sets. He has all of the raw talent to be a great bull-rusher in the NFL, but he didn't explode as one in college until he learned a pass-rushing move. 

     

    96 Jonathan Massaquoi

    Jonathan Massaquoi can play both linebacker and end—much like Biermann and Umenyiora. However, he could legitimately earn the starting role at left end. He's a speed rusher who has to improve his hands and strength in order to win the starting job. However, a roster spot looks like it's locked up for the Troy product.

     

    98 Cliff Matthews

    Cliff Matthews is another one of the defensive tackle-style ends who will end up playing well all around the defensive line. He's quick off the snap, but he will have to step up this season to ensure that he can end up on the final 53-man roster.

     

    99 Stansly Maponga

    The former Texas Christian standout has an excellent chance to make the roster this season and will even give the Falcons a reason to keep six defensive ends on the roster. Maponga has the tools to be an intriguing pass-rush option for the Falcons, but he has an uphill climb, as he is the fourth-best end/linebacker-style player in the personnel grouping.

     

    73 Cam Henderson and 70 Brandon Thurmond

    Cam Henderson and Brandon Thurmond are both fast, strong and intelligent pass-rushers. However, it's extremely unlikely either one will earn a spot that would earn any sort of significant playing time. Both guys have the ability to convert to linebacker if need be and may have a better chance to make the roster there.

Linebackers

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    56 Sean Weatherspoon

    The 2012 team captain for the defense and the Falcons' true leader at linebacker, Sean Weatherspoon more than deserves his role as a three-down linebacker. He will be honing his craft this offseason and won't have any competition for his role.

     

    54 Stephen Nicholas

    Stephen Nicholas, on the other hand, has been slowing down after a promising start to his career, as he is on the wrong side of 30. He's going to compete with Akeem Dent for the three-down linebacker role and could end up splitting duties when all is said and done.

     

    52 Akeem Dent

    Akeem Dent was just a first-year starter in 2012 as the middle linebacker and a two-down guy. He will have to beat out Nicholas when it comes to covering tight ends in order to secure that role. That may be easier said than done, though.

     

    51 Robert James

    When it comes to reserve linebackers, the Falcons have six players competing for three spots at most. Robert James is the most senior of those as a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. However, he hasn't shown any sort of potential past good special teams play to warrant a roster spot yet. He will be competing for the primary backup role on the weak side.

     

    50 Pat Schiller

    Pat Schiller has the best chance outside of Robert James to earn a roster spot. He was on the Falcons' 2012 practice squad and will be likely competing at strong-side linebacker—his best fit. He has the ability to back up at all three spots and the versatility will only help the Falcons.

     

    53 Brian Banks

    The feel-good story of the year was when Brian Banks was given a contract by the Falcons. However, he will have to earn his roster spot. That doesn't seem as hard as it did when he first signed, as he will only have to beat out fellow undrafted free agents for the reserve middle linebacker spot.

     

    49 Paul Worrilow

    Another competitor for reserve weak-side linebacker, Paul Worrilow can play all three spots in the defense. His athletic ability alone ranks second among Falcons linebackers behind Weatherspoon. His intelligence, instincts and production in college combined with said athleticism makes people question why he wasn't drafted.

     

    59 Joplo Bartu

    Joplo Bartu is someone who should compete at both strong-side and middle linebacker. What he lacks in speed and agility, he makes up for with power and intelligence. His stiffest competition should come in the form of Brian Banks, but he will still have a very good shot at being on at least the practice squad.

     

    55 Nick Clancy

    Nick Clancy is the dark horse of the bunch. He's not the most athletically gifted, but he's highly productive and an excellent leader. He can play any of the three linebacker spots and should be on the Falcons' practice squad at a minimum.

Cornerbacks

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    22 Asante Samuel

    Asante Samuel was excellent in his first season for the Atlanta Falcons, grabbing five interceptions and allowing just two touchdowns in coverage. He should be the starting left cornerback again in 2013, as his only competition would be from rookies Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.

     

    21 Desmond Trufant

    Despite being a first-round pick, Desmond Trufant will still have to compete for the starting spot on the right side. His biggest competition will come from Robert Alford and Robert McClain. Trufant has the tools; he just has to show them in camp to earn the job.

     

    27 Robert McClain

    Robert McClain is arguably the best nickel cornerback in the NFL. A roster spot is pretty much guaranteed. That's a huge change from this time last year, when he was needing a huge camp to earn a roster spot. He had that huge camp, and now the former Panthers' seventh-round pick should compete for the starting right cornerback spot.

     

    23 Robert Alford

    Robert Alford is very reminiscent of a faster, bigger Brent Grimes without injury concerns and with excellent return abilities. Alford's unique speed, size and instincts could vault him into a starting role over fellow draftee Desmond Trufant. He's also going to compete with Robert McClain for the nickel spot.

     

    24 Dominique Franks

    Dominique Franks is a mediocre cornerback and a mediocre return specialist. As the incumbent roster-spot holder, Franks starts with a leg up over Thompson, Lee and Johnson. But it doesn't look like he will be able to hold onto his roster spot without a good camp in 2013.

     

    37 Peyton Thompson

    Peyton Thompson was on the Falcons' 2012 practice squad. He is a legitimate threat to Dominique Franks for the final cornerback spot on the roster. Thompson is instinctual as a corner, but he has to show out on special teams to beat Franks.

     

    26 Saeed Lee and 30 Terrance Johnson

    Saeed Lee and Terrance Johnson are both essentially camp bodies. Neither player is an excellent special teams player and both will need ridiculously good camps to even beat Dominique Franks for the final cornerback roster spot. 

     

Safeties

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    28 Thomas DeCoud

    As one of two Falcons Pro Bowlers in the safety grouping, Thomas DeCoud should be in line to easily hold onto his starting free safety role. DeCoud had six interceptions in 2012 and should continue his ball-hawking ways. However, he needs to wrap up better when he tries to tackle players.

     

    25 William Moore

    William Moore was the other Pro Bowler for the Falcons' safety group. His excellent range, combined with the Falcons' propensity to have him mask coverages, allowed the team to put Moore in the right position to make game-changing and clinching plays.

     

    20 Charles Mitchell

    As a reserve, Charles Mitchell is an excellent special teams player and a safety who can play both the free and strong sides. Mitchell had a good rookie season, but his versatility combined with his overall abilities make him the favorite for the third safety role.

     

    36 Kemal Ishmael

    Competing for the final safety spot is former Central Florida captain Kemal Ishmael. A surprise pick at the end of the seventh round, Ishmael could very easily end up winning the job. He's an instinctual safety who can play both sides of the ball and even line up in big nickel packages.

     

    29 Shann Schillinger

    Shann Schillinger is likely in his last season with the Falcons. Even if he can win the final safety job in training camp, the former Montana player won't be able to stay past the 2013 season due to his poor play at safety. Schillinger could easily be let go at first cuts.

     

    41 Zeke Motta

    Zeke Motta was the other Falcons' seventh-round safety in 2013. While he may not earn a roster spot this offseason, he should compete for the final safety spot and a special teams role. If he loses, he should be an ideal candidate for the practice squad.

     

    40 Troy Sanders

    With all the talent the Falcons have at safety, Troy Sanders could be the true diamond in the rough. He was a cornerback early during his time at Appalachian State, but he has great size at 6'0", 214 pounds. He's a long shot for the 53-man roster, but if he shows off in camp, the Falcons should keep him for the practice squad.

Specialists

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    3 Matt Bryant

    Matt Bryant is arguably the best kicker in the NFL. He hit multiple clutch kicks in the 2012 season. He should be able to easily keep his roster spot provided he stays healthy. He earned the 2012 captain's patch for special teams contributions.

     

    1 Jeremy Shelley

    The Falcons are looking to give their already good starters some competition. Jeremy Shelley was a great kicker for Alabama. He didn't miss either a field goal or an extra point in 2012. His longest field goal in a game was all of 44 yards, though. Leg strength is questionable, but he could compete with Bryant.

     

    5 Matt Bosher

    Matt Bosher had a shaky first half of his rookie season. But since then, he has shown to be a top punter in the league. His 47.5 yards-per-punt average in 2013 was in the top 10 for all NFL punters. He's also a very talented kickoff specialist with a high touchback rate.

     

    6 Sean Sellwood

    Sean Sellwood is a strong-legged player from Utah. He had a 46.5 yards-per-punt average during his senior season at Utah, but he could give Bosher a run for his money on kickoffs. However, it will take a monstrous camp from him to beat Bosher for the roster and starting spot.

     

    47 Josh Harris

    Josh Harris was the long snapper for the Falcons in 2012, and they haven't brought in any sort of competition for him in camp.

     

    All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac and Rotoworld. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.

    Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.