Predicting the Falcons' 2012 Practice Squad Roster
The Atlanta Falcons haven't even announced their 53-man roster yet, but it's time to start thinking about who winds up on the practice squad. The practice squads on NFL rosters are eight guys who normally stood out in camp as developmental projects and can be good long term fits for a team.
In the past, the Falcons have actually had some success with their undrafted practice squad prospects. They've had cornerback Brent Grimes and offensive tackle Tyson Clabo eventually earning their way not just to the starting lineup for the Falcons, but for the NFC in the Pro Bowl.
But before that, there has to be a 53-man roster decided on and projected to see where the practice squad guys will be needed.
Projecting the final 53-man roster and cuts:
Offense (seven backs, eight receivers, nine linemen, 24 total)
QB: Matt Ryan/Dominique Davis
RB: Michael Turner/Jason Snelling/Jacquizz Rodgers/Antone Smith
FB: Mike Cox/Jason Snelling
WR: Julio Jones/Harry Douglas
WR: Roddy White/Kerry Meier/Tim Toone
TE: Tony Gonzalez/Michael Palmer/LaMark Brown
LT: Sam Baker/Lamar Holmes
LG: Justin Blalock/Mike Johnson/Garrett Reynolds
C: Todd McClure/Joe Hawley/Peter Konz
RG: Peter Konz/Garrett Reynolds/Mike Johnson
RT: Tyson Clabo/Mike Johnson/Lamar Holmes
Defense (10 DL, six LB, 10 DB, 26 total)
DE: Ray Edwards/Kroy Biermann/Jonathan Massaquoi
DT: Jonathan Babineaux/Travian Robertson
DT: Peria Jerry/Vance Walker
DE: John Abraham/Lawrence Sidbury/Cliff Matthews
OLB: Sean Weatherspoon/Robert James
MLB: Akeem Dent/Mike Peterson
OLB: Stephen Nicholas/Spencer Adkins
RCB: Dunta Robinson/Asante Samuel/Chris Owens
LCB: Brent Grimes/Dominique Franks
SS: William Moore/Chris Hope/Charles Mitchell
FS: Thomas DeCoud/Shann Schillinger
Special teams (one K, one P/KO, one LS, three total)
K: Matt Bryant
KO: Matt Bosher
P: Matt Bosher
KR: Jacquizz Rodgers/Dominique Franks
PR: Harry Douglas/Dominique Franks
LS: Joe Zelenka
H: Matt Bosher/Kerry Meier
QB Luke McCown, RB Dimitri Nance, FB Lousaka Polite, FB Lee Meisner, WR Drew Davis, WR James Rodgers, WR Kevin Cone, WR Marcus Jackson, TE Tommy Gallarda, OT Bryce Harris, OG Andrew Jackson, OG Philipkeith Manley, C Tyler Horn, DT Micanor Regis, DT Conrad Obi, LB Rico Council, LB Pat Schiller, LB Jerrell Harris, CB Marty Markett, CB Robert McClain, CB Peyton Thompson, S Suaesi Tuimaunei, LS Josh Harris
WR Kevin Cone
Kevin Cone was on the practice squad in 2011 and has earned the right to at least stay on that squad this season. He's very raw as a receiver, but he has high upside as a special teams player and could eventually turn into another Brian Finneran.
WR James Rodgers
Small like his brother, James Rodgers has good burst and the ability to stretch a defense. The main issue that he has is determining how to find soft spots in zone defenses and trusting his hands. Once he sorts these issues out, he could end up as another Eric Weems clone.
TE Tommy Gallarda
Gallarda was on the practice squad in 2011, much like Kevin Cone was. However, he is starting to look more and more like a Reggie Kelly clone than a pass-catching tight end.
In the end, this will end up being either him or LaMark Brown. It just depends on who earns the spot on the 53-man roster.
OT Bryce Harris
Bryce Harris wears No. 73. Harvey Dahl wore No. 73 for the Falcons. Harris is big, strong and tough and looks like he is going to be an animal. He just needs some time to develop, and the practice squad is perfect for him to learn.
OL Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson, or "El Presidente," looks like he is going to be a good depth player at guard. The issue there is, the Falcons only tend to keep four players who can play guard on their 53-man roster and will easily have those in Mike Johnson, Peter Konz, Justin Blalock and Garrett Reynolds.
DT Micanor Regis
Regis is just a player who is being overshadowed by ridiculous depth at the defensive tackle position. He's very possibly earned a roster spot, but Travian Robertson looks to have it locked down for now as the fifth defensive tackle.
LB Pat Schiller
Schiller has impressed in his short time on the field. He's been able to play not just the outside linebacker spots, but contribute as a middle linebacker. He's a natural leader, but his special teams need work before he will be able to make the 53-man roster.
CB Marty Markett
Out of all the defensive backs, Markett has proven that South Carolina just has a nasty defensive prospect group. He's been able to not just compete for the fifth spot at corner, but if Chris Owens is cut, expect Markett to be the guy who takes his spot on the roster. He should be on the practice squad at a minimum.
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, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.