Home NFL 4 Falcons on offense who may be on the roster bubble

4 Falcons on offense who may be on the roster bubble

4 Falcons on offense who may be on the roster bubble


Coaching camp and preseason take a 90 man roster, rattle it round for some time, and produce a 53 man roster and 16 man follow squad for each NFL crew. This yr particularly, with one single spherical of 37-plus cuts, the chance for gamers to show they belong is prolonged.

There are gamers who’re firmly on the roster bubble coming into coaching camp who must profit from that chance. Listed here are a handful on offense who’ve been round by the primary couple years of the Arthur Smith period and, due to elevated competitors and/or an absence of giant affect over the previous two seasons, discover themselves firmly on the roster bubble heading into coaching camp.

QB/TE/ Feleipe Franks

There is part of me that believes there may be no means Franks will probably be minimize, as a result of his upside and flexibility places a music in Arthur Smith’s coronary heart that may transfer even dour head coaches to tears. However I additionally imagine that Franks has to take an enormous step ahead in some unspecified time in the future to justify his continued presence on the crew, as he’s been taking over lively slots on gameday to play little or no. He has simply 68 snaps on offense and 127 snaps on particular groups over the course of the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Franks is attempting to stay on a crew with three quarterbacks (Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke, Logan Woodside) and a plethora of tight finish choices (Kyle Pitts, Parker Hesse, Jonnu Smith, a newly wholesome John FitzPatrick, Tucker Fisk). The truth that he can play each positions, chip in on particular groups, and nonetheless retains that intriguing mix of top and pace works in his favor, however a QB4/TE5 hybrid doesn’t appear to be the sort of participant a deeper crew has to hold.

If Franks progresses and the crew figures out a means to make use of him a bit extra typically and extra successfully on offense, he’ll be a enjoyable back-of-the-roster participant. In any other case, this may be the yr the experiment ends.

FB Keith Smith

Right here comes a extra controversial one.

Smith has now been a fixture as fullback and on particular groups for 2 units of teaching staffs, having joined up in 2019. He’s performed a few quarter of the offensive snaps for each recreation he has been in and near two-thirds of the particular groups snaps, and that final piece is what’s prone to preserve him on the roster. Few gamers on this crew are as dependable as Smith is as a particular groups tackler, and that issues loads to coordinator Marquice Williams.

For the primary time in current reminiscence, although, Smith has some competitors. Clint Ratkovich was a punishing blocker and standout particular teamer in faculty, and after dropping a lot of his rookie season to harm, he’s wholesome and set to push for a roster spot. I feel the crew would ideally discover an inexpensive long-term match at fullback, and with a very good summer time Ratkovich might effectively match the invoice.

Smith might be the participant on this checklist least prone to truly be minimize, but it surely’s a practical chance if Ratkovich excels within the coming months. Fullback will probably be a camp battle value waiting for the primary time in a protracted whereas.

WR Frank Darby

Darby has teetered on the sting of this roster for a few years now, spending a lot of his rookie season mothballed and spending the majority of 2022 on the follow squad. By way of two years within the NFL, he has simply two catches, 74 offensive snaps, and 154 on particular groups.

Darby has an actual shot at making the roster as a result of he does have two years within the system, particular groups worth, and retains sufficient promise to undertaking as a helpful reserve receiver. The crew has added a lot competitors on the place, from Penny Hart to Slade Bolden to an intriguing group of undrafted free brokers, that he’ll need to outshine his competitors to make it. Bear in mind, Darby was minimize final yr and wound up on the follow squad till late November.

If he can pull collectively a positive summer time, Darby’s infectious power and particular groups worth ought to assist put him excessive. If not, his on-again, off-again stints with the crew might effectively come to a detailed.

OL Jalen Mayfield

This one appears apparent. As soon as a 3rd spherical choose who was transformed to protect and pressed into motion because the beginning left guard in 2021, Mayfield had a tough rookie season after which missed 2022 with a again harm. Now Matthew Bergeron appears to be the long-term possibility at left guard, the crew has stocked some depth within the place group, and Kaleb McGary is again at proper sort out, Mayfield’s faculty place. There’s no path to a beginning job, and solely a slender path to a reserve position.

I’ve him penciled in to win a task because the reserve proper sort out and deep possibility at guard, however Mayfield has to point out he’s wholesome and making strides to get it. The crew’s lack of urgency so as to add sort out choices may work in his favor, however ex-XFLer Barry Wesley, former Cardinal Josh Wells, and hyper-versatile ex-Saint Ethan Greenidge will probably be competing with him for a attainable swing sort out position. At guard, Matt Hennessy is all however locked in to a roster spot, leaving Mayfield to show he’s a greater guess than, say, Ryan Neuzil, rookie Jovaughn Gwyn, or 2022 draft choose Justin Shaffer.

Mayfield has to point out he can credibly tackle a number of roles and has improved his cross safety particularly considerably, or his transient profession in Atlanta might come to an abrupt finish in 2023.



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