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AP Photo/Bill Feig

2018 NFC South Roster Roundup: Atlanta Falcons

Can the Falcons climb back into the conference’s elite after adding to their talented roster?


Projected Starters



QB: Matt Ryan

RB: Devonta Freeman
WR: Julio Jones
WR: Calvin Ridley
WR: Mohamed Sanu
TE: Austin Hooper
LT: Jake Matthews
LG: Andy Levitre
C: Alex Mack
RG: Brandon Fusco
RT: Ryan Schraeder



DE: Vic Beasley
DT: Grady Jarrett
DT: Terrell McClain
DE: Takkarist McKinley
OLB: De’Vondre Campbell
MLB: Deion Jones
OLB: Duke Riley
CB: Desmond Trufant
CB: Robert Alford
S: Ricardo Allen
S: Keanu Neal


Roster Notes/Thoughts


Notable depth

QB Matt Schaub, RB Tevin Coleman, RB Ito Smith, WR Justin Hardy, TE Logan Paulsen, OT Ty Sambrailo, G Ben Garland, DE Brooks Reed, DE Derrick Shelby, DT Deadrin Senat, CB Isaiah Oliver, CB Brian Poole, CB Justin Bethel, S Kemai Ishmael


Biggest strength: Running back

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are both great all-purpose running backs that can run inside, run outside, and do damage in the passing game. Defenses never get a break against Atlanta because one of them will almost always be on the field, but this will likely be the duos last year together (Coleman is an unrestricted free agent in 2019), so we should enjoy it while we can.


Biggest weakness: Tight end

The Falcons are loaded at running back and wideout, but former third-round pick Austin Hooper has yet to turn into a real impact player since entering the league in 2016. Perhaps his third season will be a breakout campaign, but Hooper doesn’t provide the big-time explosiveness that could really make the Atlanta offense unstoppable.


Position battle to watch: Cornerback

I think the Falcons made a great pick with Colorado cornerback Isaiah Oliver on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft, but the rookie will have to compete with Brian Poole for duties in sub packages behind starters Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford. If Dan Quinn wants to use Oliver in certain matchups because of his length, Alford or Trufant would be able to kick inside; or Poole might just earn the job in the slot.


Early over/under: 9.5 wins (via Odds Shark)

Over. I think the Falcons have been underrated all offseason and will continue to be overlooked heading into the 2018 season. It wasn’t easy to get back into the postseason after their Super Bowl LI loss, but they did—and took the eventual-champion Eagles to the brink in Philadelphia. With Calvin Ridley in the fold and the defense having another year of experience under their belts, Atlanta should be among the NFC’s best.


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