The Atlanta Falcons announced that they waived linebacker Marquis Spruill today, and replaced him on the roster with wide receiver John Harris. Spruill is a former fifth-round pick of the Falcons in 2014, but missed his rookie season due to tearing his ACL. Harris is an undrafted free agent out of Texas, signed by the Eagles after this past year’s draft. He was released earlier this month when the Eagles picked up former Falcons wide receiver Freddie Martino.
The Falcons traded up for Spruill in last year’s draft, giving up a seventh-round pick to move up 14 spots from the early portion of the sixth round into the fifth to select the linebacker out of Syracuse. An undersized but speedy linebacker, Spruill was lost in the shuffle as the Falcons remade their linebacker depth this offseason by several signing free agents.
Harris stands 6’2″ and weighs 218 pounds. He started his final year at Texas, leading the Longhorns with a career-high 68 catches for 1,051 yards (15.5 avg) and seven touchdowns. He also earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior. His three previous years at Texas, Harris spent the bulk of his time playing special teams as a reserve. Going into his final year, he had just nine career catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns. He missed much of his freshman year with a foot injury.
The Falcons recently revealed that veteran wide receiver Roddy White has undergone what is termed minor surgery on his elbow this morning. White’s procedure is expected to sideline him for the remainder of the preseason, but according to the team is expected back for the Falcons’ regular season-opener on September 14 against the Eagles. Harris’ addition adds some depth at an already deep group of wide receivers.