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.
The Falcons tight end position in 2018 is unrecognizable to any with 2015 eyes. None of the current players on the team stick around three years down. Jacob Tamme served the longest, first serving as a starter in 2015 before settling in as a backup for two more seasons.
Initially Tamme backs up 2016 third-round pick Nick Vannett, a pass-catcher from Ohio State. Vannett has the size and athleticism to be a nice dual threat at tight end, but earns most of his money moving the chains as a receiver. While Vannett is a capable starter for the Falcons in 2016 and 2017, the team knows it can do better.
They believe they have when they they trade up for Stanford tight end Austin Hooper. Hooper is considered the next big thing at the tight end position, and the Falcons want to adopt more two-tight end looks with the hope that Hooper is their inline Rob Gronkowski-type, with Vannett serving as a capable H-back and complementary receiver.
The team hopes Hooper’s size and speed can clear out the middle of the field for Justin Hardy to do even more damage on the underneath routes.
To beef up the blocking, the Falcons add veteran reserve Luke Stocker during the offseason of 2018 to serve as the third option, subbing for Vannett when the team is looking to get more physical.
As for Tony Moeaki and Levine Toilolo, 2015 and 2016 mark their last seasons in Atlanta, respectively.