Three summers ago, I made predictions about what the Atlanta Falcons roster might look like in 2015. Recently, I revisited those predictions to discover just how oddly accurate and wildly inaccurate they were in most cases.
But in so doing, it got the creative juices flowing once more to try and do it again, this time predicting what the Falcons roster might look like three years from now in 2018. As I did then, I will break down each position group with the goal of examining a pathway that the Falcons roster could go down.
Looking ahead towards the special teams is the final take on this series. In case you missed any of them, you can find the different links to each position group here: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | CB | S
The Falcons’ special teams unit in 2018 undergoes a bit of a change as long-time veteran kicker Matt Bryant has finally decided to hang up his kicking cleats after three solid years to finish off his career in Atlanta.
The 43-year old kicker is coming off another year in 2017 where he showcased his outstanding clutch-kicking abilities, but all good things must eventually come to an end.
Instead of trying to develop a young kicker, the Falcons dip into the free-agency well by signing veteran Dan Carpenter, who has managed to put together three solid years in Buffalo as 2018 appraoches. By then, Carpenter is 32 years old, making him practically an infant compared to eternal Bryant. Having honed his craft kicking in the icy winds of upstate New York, a move to the retractable, temperate confines of Aflac Field is a welcome change for Carpenter.
Matt Bosher still remains as the Falcons’ punter, now over 30 and having one Pro Bowl appearance by 2018. He continues to pin teams back with booming kickoffs and possess more swagger in his left pinky than any other punter in the NFL.
Josh Harris continues to be reliable as the team’s long snapper.
As mentioned earlier in the wide receiver breakdown, Bernard Reedy takes over for Devin Hester as the team’s primary return specialist in 2016. While Hester leaves huge shoes to fill, Reedy manages to do so. Reedy’s electric return skills have him approaching the upper end of the pantheon including the likes of Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, Deion Sanders, Tim Dwight, Allen Rossum and Hester as all-time great Falcons returners according to many fans.