Revisiting the Final Roster Prediction

We’re halfway through the preseason and training camp has finally wrapped up. I wanted to look at the final roster prediction that I made at the start of camp to see if there were any revisions that I wanted to make.

And there aren’t a lot.

QB: This spot remains unchanged with Ryan, Redman, and Wilson locking up spots.

RB: I am not as confident with my prediction of Antone Smith, because I think he and Dimitri Nance overall have been relatively even. However, I am tending to lean towards the Falcons signing a veteran running back off the waiver wires come the end of this month rather than going with either of the youngsters. I do think the Falcons will keep a fourth running back because of the injuries woes of Jerious Norwood. I just am less sure it will be someone currently on this roster, and instead Smith or Nance will wind up on the practice squad. And I don’t think Klecko has shown enough to stick as an extra fullback.

WR: At wide receiver, Meier is out for the year with injury. And because of the injury to Jenkins, I still think the team will keep six wideouts. I think Bergeron is the front runner for that sixth and final roster spot, although again, I do think the Falcons will be paying attention to which players are cut next week in case a veteran becomes available.

TE: At tight end, I still think Zinger is the front runner because I’m not sold on Palmer’s blocking. Although I think this race is pretty tight end, and even if he doesn’t win, I think Palmer is a good bet for the practice squad.

OL: I’m still thinking the O-line is the same nine I initially predicted. Although I think there is a better chance that Reynolds unseats Romberg. But that woudl likely mean that Joe Hawley and Will Svitek are the two active reserve linemen on the roster each week. And I’m not sure Hawley is ready to serve as the first guy off the bench at both center and guard in case of injury. So I think Romberg keeps the gig for the beginning of the year. Reynolds probably goes on the practice squad, and could be joined by Jose Valdez as well.

DL: I’m still going with the same 9 I predicted, although that spot for the last DT position which I had going to Vance Walker is a lot closer than I expected. Trey Lewis has been resurgent at times, and Thomas Johnson is no slouch. So I think that competition will come down to the wire, especially given all the injuries we have at the position. Almost making me think that we may in fact keep a tenth lineman if guys don’t start to get healthy. And that likely loses a roster spot at running back, if only temporarily.

LB: Very confident in the six at linebacker. Don’t need more than that because Peterson, Weatherspoon, and Wire can all play multiple positions.

CB: I still like my original five predicted at cornerback. Although I might have been wrong about my prediction of Owens being the starter. If the season began today, I think it would be Grimes job. And I’m not sure that is going to change in the next two weeks.

S/ST: Also good with the four safeties and three specialists I predicted as well.

Practice Squad

Before I didn’t make any serious predictions for the practice squad, but I’ll try to do so now. It seems almost every year that at least one member of the practice squad that was not with the Falcons during training camp.

RB – Nance/Smith. Still not sure who, although I’ll learn towards Nance, assuming the Falcons go with the veteran for the roster spot at the end of camp.

WR – Harvey. I really like Harvey’s blocking and for whatever reason I think that is going to get him a spot here.

TE – Palmer. As I mentioned earlier, I think he’s shown enough as a receiver to make the p-squad, but not enough as a blocker to make the roster.

OL – Reynolds & Valdez. Reynolds has been impressive at times at guard, and Valdez has improved as well.

DT – Outside Peters and Jerry none of our current DTs I believe are eligible for the practice squad. But if the team doesn’t keep a 5th one on the roster, I think it opens up the possibility of signing someone that gets cut from another team.

LB – Woods. Not sure we’ll keep a seventh LB, but Woods makes sense because more than likely even if this player is promoted to the active roster, it’ll just be to play special teams.

DB – I’m sure we’ll keep a tenth defensive back on the practice squad, most likely a safety. I think Bush has a fairly good chance of being the guy since Brock is ineligible and the Falcons have already cut both Daniels and Derricks once this summer. But this also could be a spot where the Falcons look at other teams castoffs to fill the spot.

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Aaron Freeman
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