Atlanta Falcons roster: Projecting the 53 Players

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It’s clear the Atlanta Falcons roster is in a massive overhaul. Losing Matt Ryan was tough, but now the page gets turned. We’re getting closer to finding out the final 53-man roster as training camp battles heat up. With that in mind, here are my projections for what the Falcons roster will look like Week 1 of the regular season.

QB’s (2)

Marcus Mariota

Desmond Ridder

RB’s (3)

Damien Williams

Caleb Huntley

Ty Allgeier

Offensive Utility Players (2)

Cordarrelle Patterson (RB/WR)

Feleipe Franks (QB/TE)

WR’s (5)

Drake London

Bryan Edwards

Olamide Zaccheaus

Auden Tate

Frank Darby

TE’s (4)

Kyle Pitts

Anthony Firkser

John FitzPatrick

Parker Hesse

FB (1)

Keith Smith

OL (9)

Jake Matthews

Jalen Mayfield

Matt Hennessy

Drew Dalman

Chris Lindstrom

Kaleb McGary

Colby Gossett

Justin Schaffer

Germain Ifedi

DL/EDGE (9)

Grady Jarrett

Arnold Ebiketie

Lorenzo Carter

Ade Ogundeji

DeAngelo Malone

Vincent Taylor

Anthony Rush

Ta’Quon Graham

Marlon Davidson

LB (4)

Mykal Walker

Troy Anderson

Rashaan Evans

Nick Kwiatkowski

CB (6)

AJ Terrell

Casey Hayward Jr.

Isaiah Oliver

Darren Hall

Teez Tabor

Dee Alford

SAF’s (4)

Erik Harris

Richie Grant

Dean Marlowe

Jaylinn Hawkins

Specialists (3)

Younghoe Koo (K)

Liam McCullough (LS)

Seth Vernon (P)

Notes:

  • Deion Jones is missing, I expect him to be traded to create cap relief. Especially after the Jeff Schultz report of “If Jones had a leadership presence for younger players, the team could justify keeping him in 2022. But he has been anything but that.” Could the Falcons keep a fifth linebacker if they were to move on from Jones? Absolutely. However with Nate Landman and Kuony Deng being added as UDFA’s I expect one of them to be on the practice squad in case of emergencies.
  • Yes, six CB’s. I personally feel that the defensive back group as a whole would benefit from keeping Teez Tabor who has shown the versatility to play both CB and Safety at the NFL level.
  • Personally feel that there will only be five WR’s on roster because I expect Cordarrelle Patterson to really contribute in more of an offensive weapon role as opposed to being the main bell cow at the RB position. As the season went on Patterson’s touches came more from the receiving position than they had all season, and I expect that trend to continue with the additions of Ty Allgeier and Damien Williams who should hopefully be able to help shoulder the responsibilities of RB1 for this coming season.
  • Looking at the roster, I’d love to see them add a veteran offensive lineman to help bolster the offensive line and support the run game, veterans like JC Tretter or Nick Easton would be ideal but any solid vet would be appreciated.

What are your thoughts on my roster projection? Let me know!

Follow me on Twitter @hthompsonNFL

Falcons Dueling Mock Draft: Beginning of a New Era

The Falcons have hit a new era. No more Julio Jones, no more Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley is suspended for a year, and Foye Oluokun and Russell Gage have left in free agency. The roster is in the process of a long, drawn out overhaul. The Falcons have added some nice quality veteran free agents in guys like Casey Hayward and Lorenzo Carter but need more. So here we have some of the Falcons ATB contributors going at it to see who can create the best Falcons mock draft to kick-start the new era.

Hunter’s Falcons Mock Draft (@hthompsonNFL)

Pick 8: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

I get it, this pick isn’t popular and I know quarterback is a bit of a sore subject at the moment. But hear me out at least. The Falcons can’t expect to compete with Mariota at quarterback. Pickett gives the Falcons a pro-ready QB who was a Heisman finalist in 2022.

He fits what Arthur Smith and the offense wants to do. Pickett is an accurate quarterback who posses the ability to run and pick apart the middle of the defense, perfect for what Smith wants between his time with Tannehill and Mariota in Tennessee.

Pick 43: Christian Watson, WR, NDSU

Yes, we have added a new franchise QB and now we are adding a future star at the wide position. There is a real possibility that Christian Watson isn’t here come draft day, but he was so I had to pick him over some other guys.

Watson is a freak athlete who is 6’4″ 208lbs and runs a 4.36. He is also a guy who can take over games and become a dominant freak as a WR1 for Atlanta. Watson is a YAC Daddy who creates explosive plays anytime the ball is in his hands. Bonus points that Watson has no fear as a blocker. Smith and company will love that.

Pick 58: Travis Jones, NT, UConn

The Falcons add another freak athlete here who can be an immediate plug-and-play within the defense. Yes, the Falcons re-signed Anthony Rush. Don’t let that stop you from getting better.

Travis Jones is a monster at the nose tackle spot and would pair very well with Grady Jarrett on the line. Jones is a powerful and fluid athlete who is a plug in the run game and can help collapse the pocket and free the edges and Grady.

Pick 74: James Cook, RB, UGA

The Falcons brought back Cordarrelle Patterson and added Damien Williams to the backfield, but neither is the future. James Cook would be the future-type of back for the Falcons. Cook is incredibly explosive with the ball in his hands as a runner and receiver and would thrive in Arthur Smith’s zone scheme.

Pick 82: Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss

The Falcons are back to bolstering the defense with this pick of the mock draft. Ole Miss EDGE Sam Williams is a massive talent that I think is a steal here. He struggles a bit in run defense, but man his pass rush arsenal is NICE. Williams is a violent pass rusher who uses his variety of moves to generate pressure and create sacks. Williams ended the 2021 season with 12.5 sacks.

Pick 114: Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma

The Falcons lost Foye Oluokun in free agency to the Jacksonville Jaguars and need to bolster the linebacker room. At the moment it looks like incumbents Deion Jones and Mykal Walker will be the starters, but it never hurts to gain a player to compete with him.

Brian Asamoah is a high energy player who has incredible sideline-to-sideline speed and could step into a special teams role early and develop into a potential starter.

Pick 151: Alex Wright, EDGE, UAB

Falcons double dip on EDGE here with UAB’s Alex Wright. The 6’7″ 260lbs freak is a long, powerful pass rusher who has the tools to potentially develop into a starter. He is similar to Ade Ogundeji in a lot of ways and can add depth to the Falcons EDGE group.

Wright isn’t necessarily a need, but he gives the Falcons another dart throw at the EDGE position, which has been lacking since 2014 when John Abraham left.

Pick 190: Cordell Volson, OT, NDSU

The Falcons have question marks across the offensive line. Former first round pick Kaleb McGary has had mixed reviews during his tenure in Atlanta, and here we have the Falcons drafting a tackle to hopefully push McGary. Or at least become a good swing tackle going forward.

Volson has a good frame at 6’6″ 315lbs and is a multi-year starter. The jump from talent might pose an issue for Volson because he isn’t a dominant athlete or have great technique, but he is a guy worth taking a flier on late who can potentially strengthen some OL depth.

Pick 213: Jordan Stout, P, Penn State

Yes, it’s a punter. The Falcons have been down bad at punter for awhile now, until the ageless wonder Thomas Morstead saved the special teams. As great as Morstead is, he is 36 and not getting any younger. So here the Falcons select Penn State Punt God, Jordan Stout.

Stout has a dominant leg that excels both in the punt game and the kickoff game. While at the Senior Bowl, we watched Stout blasting 75+ yard kickoffs out the back of the end zone into the stands in the pouring rain. And I know that might not be enough to convince some, but hitting a guy in the 6th round who might develop into the best at his position is always a win.

Damski’s Falcons Mock Draft (@Damski32)

Pick 8: Travon Walker, EDGE, UGA

Travon Walker offers massive upside and an athletic freak. I think he has a ways to go as a pass rusher, but the size, strength, and ability vs the run gives you a heck of an EDGE prospect year one.

Pick 43: Christian Watson, WR, NDSU

Christian Watson represents a lot of what Arthur Smith wants to do offensively. Good on crossers, can be a good deep ball wide receiver, and be a good YAC wide receiver. Heck of a pick for ATL here.

Pick 58: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

Christian Harris is the perfect scheme fit for what Dean Pees wants to do defensively. Gap discipline, physical, and can give you something as a blitzer coming down hill. Love the player, love the fit. One pick that I do hope happens.

Pick 74: Travis Jones, NT, UConn

Travis Jones making it this far is wild, but I’m definitely all-in on him being the NT in our 3-man fronts. Dude is an ox and is super tough to move off the ball. I think he’d be a really good scheme fit, even in our under fronts!

Pick 82: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

Drake Jackson for me is a really good sleeper in this class. Flashes lots of bendiness, but also offers some above-average hand play. Combine him doing stunts off the EDGE with Jones, Grady Jarrett, and Walker and you got a ton of mismatches.

Pick 114: WanDale Robinson, WR, Kentucky

WanDale Robinson is just another weapon for the offense. A guy who can take the top off of a defense, but also be a contributor on screens and crossers. I think Robinson would be a fun wrinkle to the O for Arthur Smith

Pick 151: Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati

Jerome Ford is a physical runner from Cincy who is really good on one cut and go runs, has surprising speed in the open field, but does want to run through you. I think this late he represents really good value.

Pick 190: Issac Taylor-Stuart, CB, USC

Isaac Taylor-Stuart is an atheltic specimen at the cornerback position who has an incredible athletic profile. Taylor-Stuart is only going to go up from here at this point in his career. Definitely worth a flier at this point.

Pick 213: Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State

Charlie Kolar is a very standard TE. Solid blocker who doesn’t wow you with his physical traits. He uses his frame and size to work crossers and seams in the passing game. And his 6’6″ frame also helps Kolar become a major red zone threat.

Kenny G’s Falcons Mock Draft (@Gritz_Blitz)

Pick 8: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Have you heard that Kayvon is lazy, selfish, and a bad teammate? Blah, blah, blah. When I watch KT play, I see one of the few blue chip players in this class. He has an insane first step and a rare blend of physicality and athleticism. There’s double-digit sack potential written all over Thibodeaux. His ceiling is sky high, and the Falcons would select him with the idea that he’d be the face of the future defense.

Pick 43: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota St.

6’4”, 208lbs, 4.36 40 yard dash. You sold yet? Christian Watson is one of the most explosive players in this draft class. He’s a complete receiver who has all the makings of a future number one target. Watson offers a lot of juice to the receiving corps, and could give Arthur Smith the big-play threat his offense so desperately needs.

Pick 58: Travis Jones, DT, UConn

Travis Jones is a mammoth of a man who can be the force in the middle of a defense for years to come. He’s got a club move that’ll knock you silly, and offers real pass rush upside not often found in players his size. He’d slide in as Dean Pees’ starting nose tackle and force opposing offenses to double him.

Pick 74: Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin

A thickly-built player who measured 6’2” and weighed in at 261lbs, Leo Chenal is one of the most physical linebackers I’ve seen in some time. He’s a sound tackler who’s quick to diagnose plays and shoots gaps like he’s being fired out of a cannon.

His run stuffing ability would be welcome in Atlanta after some of the LB play we saw last season. Chenal is a three down LB who’d be a leader on this team from day one.

Pick 82: James Cook, RB, Georgia

I wasn’t going to take a running back — until I imagined having both James Cook and Cordarrelle Patterson on the field at the same time. Selecting Cook gives the Falcons yet another versatile young play-maker. He can line up in the backfield, in the slot, or even out wide. James will find a way to make plays no matter what position he’s playing.

Pick 114: Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss

Double dipping in this edge class offers so much potential for a team in dire need of a pass rush. Do you know what pairing Sam Williams with KT could do for our edge group? In the words of MJ, “The ceiling is the roof.”

Williams tested like a crazy athlete, running a 4.46 at 261lbs, and you see the burst on tape. Adding a pass rusher this explosive in the 4th round feels like tremendous value.

Pick 151: Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati

The Falcons need more help at corner, and while Bryant may be getting a bit overshadowed by Sauce, make no mistake: Coby can ball. The 2022 Thorpe Award winner has the size and athleticism to develop into a starter after playing behind Casey Hayward for a year or two.

Pick 190: Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State

The Falcons previously met with Charlie Kolar and attended his pro day. Atlanta needs tight end depth, and Kolar has potential to develop into a future Y tight end who can complement Pitts well. He’s a bit raw, but has great size, good hands, and is a willing blocker in the run game.

Pick 213: Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor

SPEED! You can’t have enough of it, and nobody offers more of it than Thornton. He ran a blazing 4.28 40-yard dash. He’s got a thin frame, but he’s tall and plays strong enough to beat press on the outside. Tyquan would be a legit deep threat from day one and has potential as a future starter.

Check out our previous Falcons mock draft pieces on atbnetwork.com and be sure to choose a winner for this version of dueling mocks!

Way Too Early Falcons Dueling Mock Drafts

Ladies and Gentlemen, nothing screams a week 1 overreaction like a Way Too Early Mock. After the major let down that the Falcons had week 1 against the Eagles, 32-6 loss at home, Adam Holloway (@Damski32 on Twitter) and I decided to kick back and have some fun with RiseNDraft.com’s mock draft simulator. We each ran two separate mocks, only four rounds long, and ran it differently to show the possibilities on the board for Atlanta. So lets get this underway:

Hunter Thompson Mock

In my mock, I chose to go with a route that many fans may not love at first glance. I don’t really bolster the trenches early, I grab Matt Ryan’s successor even though we may have more pressing needs, and I grabbed a couple of the more “raw” prospects that fill more of a role than can become immediate starters. It isn’t necessarily as flashy as some, but I do think a mock like this would do wonders for filling out the roster and giving our Falcons a solid foundation to be building on:

Round 1 Pick 6: Kyle Hamilton, SAF, Notre Dame

Right, its not someone to add to the trenches, but hear me out. Hamilton is one of, if not the best, prospect in this upcoming draft class. Hamilton is a 6’4″ 220lb safety that can do it all. He can be the TE eraser, he can step up in the box, he runs the single high, he can blitz, and his tackling is top tier. He has six interceptions in his collegiate career already (four as a true freshman and already two on this young season). Giving the Falcons a budding safety trio of Hamilton, Richie Grant, and Jaylinn Hawkins would give Dean Pees the ability to create all kinds of different defensive looks and mismatches. Plus Hamilton is an Atlanta kid, so that’s just an added bonus.

Round 2 Pick 37: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Once again, not trenches but once again, hear me out. Matt Ryan isn’t getting any younger and him currently behind this offensive line is not a good recipe for extending his shelf life. Here we have the Falcons grabbing Matt Corral from Ole Miss. Corral is one of the most exciting QB’s in this upcoming draft class. He has a great arm and is mobile enough to extend the pocket and make all the throws on the field. Corral is a vocal and charismatic player who could bring a lot of fun energy to the Falcons while providing us the opportunity to stabilize the position for the long term. Only con to Corral is that a redshirt year would really really benefit him because as high as his highs are, his lows are incredibly low.

Round 2 Pick 43: Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota

Finally got to the trenches. First let me clarify, I am a Kaleb McGary believer so this pick could easily change as the season goes on. But, right now the OL needs a remodel. Matthews and Lindstrom are the only current players I am convinced are worth keeping, and there wasn’t a great iOL on the board so looks like McGary is the odd man out in this mock. Faalele is a monster of a human being measuring in at 6’8″ 370lbs. He didn’t look amazing in 2019, but came out firing on all cylinders this season looking so much better. He has long arms and has a good base in pass pro, not to mention he is an absolute mauler in the run game. Adding Faalele to the Falcons OL would be a good step to helping Smith and Fontenot in turning this team into a contender.

Round 3 Pick 68: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

The former number one overall prospect, Nolan Smith has been a little underwhelming so far in his UGA career. But Smith is looking to turn those fortunes around this season. In his season opener against Clemson, he was constantly generating pressure for the Bulldogs defense, with three tackles and a sack. Smith is a smaller EDGE at 6’3″ 235lbs who could be a good DPR (Designated Pass Rusher) for the defense that Atlanta is trying to build. Smith is raw and has plenty of areas to improve, but we grab him in the third to help our underwhelming pass rush.

Round 4 Pick 105: Zacch Pickens, DL, South Carolina

And the last pick in this mock I have the Falcons grabbing DL Zacch Pickens from the university of South Carolina. The former 5-star recruit is incredibly similar to Nolan Smith in the sense that we are still waiting for them to burst out. But Pickens looks like he is starting to do it. Pickens, the 6’4″ 305lb DL, is a solid run defender who could be a good rotational piece along the DL with guys like Marlon Davidson, Ta’Quon Graham, and Grady Jarrett already in place to help further his development. Pickens needs to really improve as a pass rusher, to be justified at this pick, but it’s week 1 and I am banking on his growth as a player this year.

Adam Holloway Mock

Round 1 Pick 6: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

  • Evan Neal presents something that ATL hasn’t had since the Bob Whitfield days, and that’s a legit body mover. Neal is about to forklift defenders and acts like a bouncer and takes his opponents out of the club. Has massive size and when he gets his massive hands on you it’s basically over. Has incredible ability to finish blocks and asserts himself physically.

Round 2 Pick 37: Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia

  • Jordan Davis gives you some moxie on the DL in the form of a NT. Davis isn’t your typical NT; he’s the new era of NT who can be effective in the pass game as well. With an undersized NT now in Tyler Davison, it’s clear the defense struggle to maintain gap control with linebacker Deion Jones. Not only does Davis help the DL and give Pees a key cog in the middle, but he’ll help see less double teams.

Round 2 Pick 43: Jordan Battle, SAF, Alabama

  • Jordan Battle gives ATL a much needed Swiss Army knife on the backend and a tone setter in the secondary. Battle is really coming along in man and zone coverage but he’s also a load in the box. Battle doesn’t shy away from tackle and relishes the idea of taking on a RB in the hole. Atlanta lacks this kind of player and double dipping into Alabama’s program really sets the team up for the future.

Round 3 Pick 68: Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame

Williams gives you that hard running outside zone RB who can hit a hole fast and on time. Arthur Smith also puts a huge emphasis on RBs blocking out of the backfield and can do that. Also features soft hands receiving. What really stands out to me is his patience and explosion; he can take off quickly and is effective at setting up his blockers.

Round 4 Pick 105: Ty Fryfogle, WR, Indiana

The 6’2″ 215lb boundary WR from Indiana could be a solid running mate to pair with Calvin Ridley and give Matt Ryan a safety net target and a new potential weapon for inside the red zone. Ryan has typically struggled in the red zone, so another big WR with solid hands is a good fit. We have to add weapons who can impact the short term and long term pictures, Fryfogle does that.

Key Matchups to be Watching in Falcons vs Eagles

The NFL Season is finally back as Week 1 is finally upon us. Week 1 the Falcons will be defending Mercedes Benz Stadium against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons and Eagles are both debuting brand new coaching staffs and plenty of new additions for each roster. So let’s take a look at the key matchups to keep an eye on this Sunday:

Falcons DLine vs Eagles OLine

The Falcons are bringing in new defensive coordinator Dean Pees to help bring a new life to the defense. And he will have a real test week 1 against the Eagles. The Eagles have some good talent on the offensive line when they’re healthy in Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, and Landon Dickerson. When looking at the Falcons defensive line the real star is obviously Grady Jarrett but he won’t be able to do it himself. It will be up to Dean Pees and the rest of the defensive line to disrupt the Eagles offense. The game will come down to the trenches and the Falcons DLine will need to step up in order to win the game.

Jalen Mayfield vs Fletcher Cox

Falcons 3rd round pick Jalen Mayfield is getting his first start at Left Guard this week against the Eagles. Mayfield was drafted out of Michigan where he played his career at Right Tackle, but he has been getting reps in the preseason at Left Guard. But this is the start of the gauntlet for the young guard against Fletcher Cox, the Eagles elite DT. Cox has been one of the top interior defensive lineman in the NFL for years now, and Mayfield will be getting a real test against him. Once again, the Falcons victory will come down to the trenches and Mayfield will be a key piece of the Falcons offensive line.

Calvin Ridley vs Darius Slay

Calvin Ridley is stepping into the WR1 role for the Falcons this season after the departure of Julio Jones. Ridley is an elite route runner who can make corners look absolutely silly. Which will be very entertaining to watch against Darius Slay. Slay was one of the top corners for a few years while in Detroit, but his first season in Philadelphia was not as good as his time in Detroit. If Slay is back to the level we know he can play at, it’ll be interesting to see how he competes against a player of Ridley’s caliber.

Arthur Smith vs Nick Sirianni

Both the Falcons and the Eagles replaced Head Coaches who brought them mixed results in Dan Quinn and Doug Pederson and replaced with both Arthur Smith and Nick Sirianni, respectfully. Both Smith and Sirianni are offensive minded coaches who are getting the reigns of their own teams in Atlanta and Philadelphia. It’ll be interesting to see the game plans and strategies that these coaches and their staffs cook up to attack each other.

This Week 1 matchup will be an awesome way to see how close both teams are to competing for their own division and for playoff spots. What do you expect to see from both of these teams? How do you think the Falcons will fare against the Eagles? Did I miss any key matchups to be watching? Let me know!

Follow on Twitter @falcons_atb

Solutions to the Falcons Backup Quarterback Problem

The Atlanta Falcons have an interesting situation going on inside their Quarterback room; they have an experienced starter in Matt Ryan, they have a career backup in AJ McCarron, and they signed Undrafted Free Agent Feleipe Franks to be their 3rd string project Quarterback. It sounds like a normal situation, but neither McCarron or Franks have proven that they can be the number two quarterback behind the Falcons legendary number 2.

Can Feleipe Franks' legs carry him closer to backup quarterback job?

In today’s NFL the backup quarterback is slowly becoming a somewhat premium position. You want a quarterback that could step in and fill in for you and your team in a pinch if anything were to happen to your franchise guy. Sometimes that backup role is filled by a former starter who might have just lost his ability, sometimes it is filled by a project quarterback who the team hopes will develop into something worthwhile, and other times it is filled by a career clipboard holder who knows the ins and outs of the offense and can run it at a serviceable level. Let’s take a look at some guys the Falcons could target to solidify the question mark holding the clipboard.

Josh Rosen

Josh Rosen is a former first round pick who many touted as the safest QB selection in 2018 NFL Draft, myself included in that. Rosen was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals old regime who quickly moved on from him as they drafted Kyler Murray in 2019. Rosen then went to the Dolphins where we struggled to earn reps against Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Why am I talking about a bust being able to help solidify the Falcons QB room? Well when Rosen declared for the NFL Draft, he was talked about being one of the smartest QB’s in the classes and was constantly compared to Falcons great Matt Ryan. Adding Rosen to the QB room in an offense that has similarities to his current one in San Francisco could make for a smooth transition into our QB competition while providing the opportunity to be mentored by Matt Ryan.

Then when you factor the Niners drafting Trey Lance while still having Jimmy Garoppolo on roster, it looks like Rosen is on the outside looking in once again. Rosen looks like a current long shot to make the Niners roster, which could be a nice bargain bin find for the Falcons.

Robert Griffin III

If the Falcons wanted to go the route of adding a more seasoned veteran to sit behind Ryan, they could very easily go the route of former Heisman winner Robert Griffin III. The former second over pick by Washington has had some injury concerns derail what looked to be a promising NFL career. RG3 got let go from Washington in 2015 and has floated around the league signing with the Browns and the Ravens.

RG3 falls into the category of guys who were former starters and lost the ability to be a starter. He has experience in multiple offenses and has some significant game experience the question with him, is how can his body hold up, and can he still play at a high enough level to warrant a roster spot.

If the Falcons felt that RG3 could be a serviceable backup for the team, he would be a decent scheme fit with the offense that Arthur Smith will be implementing.

Logan Woodside/Matt Barkley

I doubt Tennessee keeps both of these Quarterback’s on roster. Woodside looked very good against the Falcons defense the other night going 10-15 for 84 yards and a touchdown. Woodside gives us a younger signal caller who could potentially develop into a career QB2 or for our team.

Matt Barkley is the flip side of this providing a career backup who could step in during a pinch. Barkley has had that role most of his NFL career in Philly and Buffalo and now Tennessee. For context Barkley went 5/8 for 54 yards with a touchdown against our Atlanta defense.

I will say that neither of these options is super appealing, but both should be looked at as options to beat out AJ McCarron for the job. Barkley will be similar to Chase Daniel/Colt McCoy in the sense of providing quality veteran depth who could also feature as a future mentor. While Woodside gives a more of a long-term solution to the backup QB issue.

Whichever Bills Quarterback Gets Cut

The Bills have Jake Fromm, Mitch Trubisky, and Davis Webb all competing for the number 2 and 3 slots behind Josh Allen. All three of these Quarterbacks have the potential to be cut with Trubisky being the least likely. Which leaves the roster bubble names as Davis Webb and Jake Fromm. UGA fans should be pretty familiar with Jake Fromm who was a starter for the Bulldogs for a few seasons.

He is a typical game manager who may not be head and shoulders over McCarron, but he is an upgrade. He is a limited athlete who uses his IQ and intangibles to lead the offense. He makes safe conservative passes to chip away at the defense. What makes Fromm appealing is that Arthur Smith’s offense would be a play to Fromm’s strengths as a passer and as a quarterback.

Davis Webb is very very similar to Jake Fromm, just more experience as a clipboard holder. Very similar as a passer, Webb is more accuracy and a limited athlete. So no matter which Buffalo cuts, if either, we would be adding a safe conservative passer who doesn’t have any athletic ability to take over games. But both are fairly smart passers who are safe with the ball.

Kurt Benkert

Will this happen? Probably not. There is a strong chance that the Packers run with 3 quarterbacks so he might not even be available. But if Kurt Benkert were to become available the Falcons need to make the call. Benkert has become one of the league’s favorite backups due to his Video Game streaming and his fun personality.

Kurt Benkert was a Falcon for the past couple of seasons competing for a roster spot. He is a more athletic passer than some of the other names on the list and would be a nice scheme fit for the Arthur Smith offense with his ability to be more mobile like what Smith had with Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee with his ability to escape and expand the pocket with his legs. Benkert also has a very solid arm to pair with his mobility.

What makes Benkert so appealing is that he is familiar with the Falcons organization with being here from 2019-2020. However that is also part of the reason it’s so tricky to potentially bring back Benkert. It’s an entirely different regime who decided he was expendable when they took over. Which is part of the issue in our backup Quarterback hunt. However if there was even a shot to bring Benkert back into Atlanta, the Falcons should jump on it.

Gardner Minshew II

This is my dream scenario out of this list. But it is also probably the least likely to happen. Minshew is currently “battling” for the number 1 job in Jacksonville. I use the term battling loosely due to Trevor Lawrence being drafted 1st overall in the most recent draft class.

In this hypothetical situation we will say Minshew loses the battle for the sake of the discussion, which is what will probably happen. But, Minshew is a 25 year old QB who has starting experience in both 2019 and 2020, compiling a stat line of: 5530 yards, 37 TD’s, 11 INT’s, completion percentage of 62.9% and a QBR of 93.1 through 20 career starts. Which is very solid for what he had to work with in Jacksonville during his time there.

Minshew is an accurate passer who has the confidence and swagger to lead the offense in a pinch or for a stretch of games. He has the gunslinger mentality to match his mullet which could add some personality to to the Falcons locker room. I personally would just love to see the personality switch from Ryan to Minshew if they ever rotate during games. But that’s just more of a pipe dream than anything.

Minshew could potentially give the Falcons a way to move on from Matt Ryan at the end of his tenure while providing competent Quarterback to replace him with, without having to give up major capital. The biggest issue with Minshew is we aren’t quite sure if Jacksonville will even want to sell on him because they may want him to help mentor Trevor Lawrence. And at that same time, if they wanted to sell we aren’t sure what pick they would want. I’ll play it safe and assume the Jags would want a day 2 pick for a 25 year old QB who could be a starter.

Which of these Quarterbacks do you think would be the best addition to Atlanta’s locker room to backup Matty Ice? Did I forget a name you wanted? Do you have any criticism or comments? Well let us know @falcons_atb on Twitter!