The Atlanta Falcons announced the signings of wide receiver Aldrick Roinson, safety Damian Parms and cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke today. All three players are depth signings that should help bolster competition in training camp.
Robinson, 27, is the most notable of the group given his past history with the Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan dating from 2011 to 2013 when they both were with the Washington Redskins. After being a sixth-round draft pick out of Southern Methodist by the Redskins in 2011, Robinson spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad. However in 2012 he began to carve out a role as a vertical threat for the Redskins. Over the next two seasons, Robinson started three of 31 games and only caught 29 combined passes. But his average of 20.8 yards per reception led the league among NFL receivers with at least 20 catches in that span. He also scored five touchdowns, with four of them being on gains of 40 yards or more.
However after the departure of Shanahan in 2014, Robinson struggled to see the field under the new coaching staff led by Jay Gruden. He appeared in five games with only a single catch for six yards before being released in December 2014. He finished the year on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad before being brought back for training camp in 2015. Robinson was cut by the Ravens last August and has been out of football since.
Parms, 23, was an undrafted rookie signing by the Falcons last May out of Florida Atlantic, but was released midway through training camp last summer before he had an opportunity to appear in a preseason game. He has been out of football since then. He should add depth at strong safety, where the 210-pound safety made a name for himself in college as a thumper against the run.
Van Dyke, 27, returns to the NFL after being cut last summer by the Minnesota Vikings. Prior to that, the former 2011 third-round pick out of Miami was with three different teams. It was the Oakland Raiders that initially drafted the fast cornerback, who managed to start four games as a rookie and tallied his first and only career interception.
He was cut by the Raiders the next summer and was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He battled injuries over the next two years, finishing 2012 on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and being cut after suffering a hamstring injury in August 2013 during training camp with the Steelers. He was later re-signed at midseason by the Steelers, appearing in just two games before being cut again. The Kansas City Chiefs signed him the following offseason, but he once again dealt with an ankle injury that sidelined him at the end of training camp in 2014. He was waived off the Chiefs’ injured reserve in September of that year before winding up with the Vikings as a futures signing last January.
For his career, Van Dyke has played in 25 games and tallied 11 tackles, one interception and four pass deflections. He is known for his speed as his 4.28 40-yard dash at the 2011 Scouting Combine was the fastest among his draft class and is also tied for the fourth-fastest time among any player since 2006.