Posted: 10:00 am Friday, August 29th, 2014

Project the Falcons’ final 53-man roster 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Freddie Martino (18) catches a pass for a 67-yard touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Freddie Martino (18) catches a pass for a 67-yard touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

JACKSONVILLE — Put on your GM hats!!!

It’s time to project the final 53-man roster. The Falcons have until 4 p.m. on Saturday, but I suspect they’ll get this out of the way today.

By getting the cuts done early, the Falcons will have more time to watch the waiver wire and look for some linemen, possibly a fullback or a linebacker.

We’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you. There are  “40 roster locks” listed below.

Here are the pressing concerns as you play Thomas Dimitroff, Scott Pioli and Lionel Vital.

–Will the Falcons keep three quarterbacks?

–Will there be any major veteran cuts?

–Will the team release former second-round pick Peter Konz, who continues to struggle?

–Did wide receiver Freddie Martino do enough to earn a roster spot with that sweet 67-yard TD grab or is he headed to the practice squad?

–Bernard Reedy was on the “All T-Shirts and Shorts” team, but he didn’t do much in pads. Does he make the roster or the practice team?

–Did Gabe Carimi show you enough to keep as a backup?

–Who’s the sixth cornerback? Ricardo Allen or Jordan Mabin?

–How many defensive ends do you keep?

–How many defensive ends who can play linebacker do you keep?

–Does Jacques “You’re not Good enough to be an (bleep) hole” Smith make the team?

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS (2/3)

Overview: Matt Ryan has had a spectacular exhibition season. T.J. Yates has appeared shaky at times. Sean Renfree has arguably outplayed Yates and earned the No. 2 spot. With the issues on defense, the Falcons don’t have the luxury of keeping three quarterbacks. Perhaps, they can sneak Renfree through waivers and get him on the practice squad.

Lock: Ryan.

On the bubble: Yates and Renfree.

RUNNING BACKS (5/6)

Overview: The Falcons need Steven Jackson to have a comeback season. The supporting cast is strong. Signing veteran free-agent fullback Vonta Leach has been discussed.

Locks: Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Antone Smith and Devonta Freeman.

On the bubble: Patrick DiMarco.

Longshot: Maurice Hagens and Josh Vaughan.

WIDE RECEIVERS (5/6)

Overview: The top four are set. Courtney Roby and Eric Weems can help on special teams. Bernard Reedy and Geraldo Boldewijn will likely resurface on the practice squad.

Locks: Julio Jones, Roddy White, Harry Douglas and Devin Hester.

On the bubble: Roby, Weems and Reedy.

Longshots: Boldewijn, Freddie Martino and Jeremy Ebert.

TIGHT ENDS (2/3)

Overview: The hope is for Levine Toilolo to become a red-zone threat. Bear Pascoe is a blocker.

Locks: Toilolo, Pascoe.

On the bubble: Mickey Shuler.

Longshot: Jacob Pedersen.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9/10)

Overview: Lamar Holmes has to atone for last season. The Falcons like the depth because the reserves now have NFL experience.

Locks: Jake Matthews, Justin Blalock, Joe Hawley, Jon Asamoah and Holmes.

On the bubble: Ryan Schraeder, Gabe Carimi, Peter Konz, Pat McQuistan and Harland Gunn.

Longshots: Terren Jones, Adam Replogle and James Stone.

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE ENDS (5/6)

Overview: Osi Umenyiora could flourish in his designed pass-rusher role. Jonathan Massaquoi could have a breakout season.

Locks: Kroy Biermann, Umenyiora, Jonathan Babineaux, Massaquoi, Malliciah Goodman.

On the bubble: Stansly Maponga.

Longshots: Jacques Smith and Tyler Starr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES (5/6)

Overview: Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson makes the defense strong up the middle. Ra’Shede Hageman is a rotational player for now.

Locks: Soliai, Jackson, Corey Peters and Hageman.

On the bubble: Travian Robertson and Cliff Matthews.

Longshots: Donte Rumph and Nosa Eguae.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS (5/6)

Overview: Paul Worrilow, Joplo Bartu and Prince Shembo are the top three linebackers. Playing behind the hefty tackles, Worrilow and Bartu should be free to smash the opposition’s run game.

Locks: Worrilow, Bartu and Shembo.

On the bubble: Tim Dobbins and Pat Angerer and Yawin Smallwood.

CORNERBACKS (5/6)

Overview: Second-year players Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford will man the outside, while the team uses a committee approach at nickel back.

Locks: Trufant, Alford, Josh Wilson, Javier Arenas and Robert McClain.

On the bubble: Ricardo Allen and Jordan Mabin.

SAFETIES (3/4)

Overview: William Moore is hoping to return to Pro Bowl form. If Dezmen Southward can stay healthy, he could take over the starting free safety spot.

Locks: Moore, Dwight Lowery, Southward and Kemal Ishmael.

On the bubble: Sean Baker.

Longshot: Kimario McFadden.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Overview: Matt Bryant, Matt Bosher and Devin Hester gave the Falcons a chance to have elite special-teams units.

Locks: K Bryant. P Bosher. LS Josh Harris.

FINAL EXHIBITION GAME: Falcons 24, Jaguars 14

Yates leads Falcons to victory over Jaguars

PHOTO GALLERY from the win over Jacksonville

Falcons convert in short yardage situation

Falcons rest key starters in exhibition finale

Roster spots were up for grabs against Jacksonville

44 comments
ATLFan
ATLFan

Time to write off the investment in Konz.  I watched the  O line play carefully last night and the guy continues to get blown backwards. Carimi was looking pretty good. Hope Stone can be a back up center.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

It's a good job D Led isn't the GM - only 49 on the roster and no OLBs could make for a very long year

keendaddy
keendaddy

Carimi looked pretty good last night. I still think Jacques Smith will be a good player. If we cut him, I expect to see him playing with The 49er's or Seattle in the Super bowl (just because they don't know how to judge talent like TD)

tyger
tyger

Facons need tweaking...


Overall a good, not great group...

Strength offensive backfield...

QB, RB, WR are strong, deep...


OL is key...sans Baker...

Jake, Blaylock, Hawley, Asamoah, Holmes

Jones, Gunn, Stone (PS), Schraeder...

Sign a vet for depth...


Konz, Carimi, Johnson are busts...

Each had multiple opportunities to START...

Not just make team...START...time to move on...

Ego, pride, draft status can'tt be downfall of team...


Defense leaking like a sponge...

Needs tweaking at 2nd/3rd level...


DL: Jackson, Soliai, Peters, Babx, will fight...

DE: Massaquoi, Umenyiori, Goodman must exert...

Bierrman long in tooth, last hurrah...

Hageman is key, needs to exert...


LB: Below average group...hurt by Spoon...

Shembo, Worrilow, Bartu need help...

Homeland Security Alert: Orange-Red...

see James Harrison, ex-Steeler, Bengal...


DB: Good depth, good talent overall...

Trufant, Alford still green...

Getting bombed like Hiroshima

Need another vet...

Homeland Security Alert Level: Yellow-Orange...


Overall a good, not great group...

Barring injury should challenge wild-card....

Needs tweaking for optimal results...

But youngster development crucial...


If Jake, Holmes, Trufant, Alford hold up...

Julio, Roddy, remain healthy...

Sign vet LB, CB, OL...

It could get interesting...


Missing a Mike Peterson and Brian Williams on defense...

OL attention focused on OT, but best have game-ready C too...

Hawley ain't the monster y'all pretending him to be...



HonestInformed
HonestInformed

Gabe Carimi looked REALLY solid......it is a shame he had an injured ankle. He should definitely be the starting RT day one against NO!!!  Matthews, Blaylock, Hawley, Asomoah & Carimi is a HUGE improvement over last season. Hawley is the least capable player on this staring line-up. Holmes & Schraeder are barely tolerable back-up players; I hope they continue to improve. Stone looks like he might just be better than Konz!


Dobbis needs to be cut......Angerer looked OK last night, but has looked really good in games 2 & 3.


Our defense looks significantly better than last year........I still think we need to find a starting caliber ILB if one gets cut.

Michaelee
Michaelee

That was a h*ll of a catch by Martino last night in the game for a td. Don't cut that kid.

Jmonty
Jmonty

How is Holmes even still on the team?  Does anyone remember how horrible he was last year?  and he's still starting.  Sad...sad...sad... 

SOB
SOB

Josh Wilson? Josh Wilson?? A keeper? Wasn't he the guy about 10 yards behind the Jags receiver on that long bomb Bortles completed? Josh Wilson? Geez...

williar
williar

Why is Biermann the 1st lock listed for DE? What is the fascination with this guy? Does he have something on Mike Smith? Geeze!

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

"Osi Umenyiora could flourish in his designed pass-rusher role. Jonathan Massaquoi could have a breakout season."


Say what? So it was all the coaches fault last year?

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

Yates will be the back up over Renfree due to him having the experience from being in the league for several years now.  Last night's good showing also helped.  If Ryan goes down, they're in trouble anyway.  But with Yates the offense has a chance to move the ball, even if barely at all.  You aren't going to see that feeling watching Renfree line up under center should the unfortunate circumstances present itself.

1337S0lja
1337S0lja

Renfree constantly looks for the checkdown. At first I was all Renfree but Yates was still learning the playbook. Now my opinion on TJ has done a complete 180.  He is our second string QB.

WilliamCoit
WilliamCoit

We need to pick an offensive lineman to add depth. I don't fee 100% about the present group and if Matt Ryan get hurt, our season is over. Rise up Falcons. 


Need Shipping Containers For Storage?

http://youtu.be/OFHGmqZtKGo


Flacons_go_2-14
Flacons_go_2-14

1 think I hope they dont do and that is 2 sigh that gay guy if he get cut. If the Flaocns do that then I am nevery commin back here 2 post.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

That Ricardo Allen kid we drafted in the 5th round is a sorry excuse for a corner. Can Dimitroff be any worse at his job? But from what I noticed in preseason, the team looks in a much better position than they were last year but I think that has to do mainly with coaching. 

Flacons_go_2-14
Flacons_go_2-14

If Im palyin the role of Tommy Dummytroff the fist thing I do is resigh and let sum 1 esle do my job cuz I  Tommy Dummytroff R stupid!

Leviathan
Leviathan

I'm typing these long replies to zuzu331 and I hit post and the shyt just disappears. Ledbetter whats going on now???

Leviathan
Leviathan

I guess I'm blocked. Don't know why but OK. Lol.

stugotsNJ
stugotsNJ

–Will the team release former second-round pick Peter Konz, who continues to struggle?


this should be any easy decision

decatur_g
decatur_g

ha. DOL got jokes ...... going for that "Hard Knocks: Comedy After Dark' bonus episode  ... :)

Not sure what needs to be given/taken, but I would like to see T. Robertson stay.



I am kinda tossed up about Weems, just because he came so late. I am intrigued by Reedy's speed and Boldewijn's size.



zuzu331
zuzu331

People make simple things hard. First off,control the line of scrimmage,win games. Saying that,Konz and Holmes havent shown enough to be counted on. I think Carimi deserves a shot. Jacques punched ANOTHER guy on camera yesterday so 'stupid penalties' whatever...If Smitty can platoon the RBs and make halftime adjustments all will be well in the Kingdom.

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

Well,  Yates showed something last night. Not so sure who to go with now. Yates played like a veteran with the 3rd string line. could be a coin toss between he and Renfree.  Smitty may go w/ Renfree because he knows the system. Or Go with Yates because he's got starter/play off experience.  what to do....what to do. (wringing hands)

tyger
tyger

@HonestInformed Carimi looks solid against 2nd/3rd string. This is his 3rd team in 5 years...for one reason or another. Even here he has not played, but one last gasp pre-season game...not enough evidence to save him.  Rather get a healthy vet off the wire...

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@Jmonty


Got to disagree with you here Jmonty.  He was basically a "second year  rookie"  that really started last year because of injuries.  He was not ready to play and he showed it but he got the most valuable experience you would want from a guy in his position...playing time.  If you watched him in the preseason and if you had to pick a MVP he would be a candidate for that.  He learned a lot from being thrown to the wolves last year; and rightfully so, they feasted on him!  he has gotten stronger and his foot work and handwork MUCH better than last year.  Watch this guy this year he could be a cornerstone to Matthews! 

TheMonger
TheMonger

@SOB  Seriously???  Was this a serious post?  I really can't tell, because only a complete moron or a troll would base a players worth on one play in a preseason game. So are you a complete moron or a troll?  This guy has been a starting NFL cornerback in this league for 6 years, and had 83 tackles, 2 INTs, and 7 pass break ups over 16 games last year for the Redskins.  Even with those impressive stats he is only our 4th best CB, as Trufant, Alford, and McClain are clearly our top 3.  And yes, Javier Arenas is a lock as our 5th cornerback, as he plays the slot very well, but McClain is still the man for that spot.  Get ready Moron SOB, cause if Trufant or Alford get hurt, your boy Josh Wilson will likely be an edge corner in the starting rotation.  And I think outside of THAT ONE PLAY (idiot) he has had an amazing preseason.....

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@DawgDadII


No it was not the coaches fault, however I think with Solai and Jackson in the middle Osi does not have to take on double teams like he did last year...which in essence allows him to go one on one with a tackle or a tight end.  Those two space eaters in the middle are supposed to help the LB's as well as the DE's and when the Falcons play that 3-4 defense it will help the outside linebackers.  The reason he has look like he has an extra step in his game during preseason is because of those space eaters. 

gfw
gfw

@ChopChamps95 You're probably right.  Still, Renfree's quicker feet and seemingly equal or almost-equal accuracy make it a tough decision.  It's painful to watch how slow Yates is with his feet, and I don't mean just when he runs with the ball, but even when he drops back. Even losing one second there can be critical to success or failure.

keendaddy
keendaddy

2-14,

Oh my! What will we ever do without your sage wisdom, and incredible understanding of grammar. Thanks for the Comic relief. You have to be pretending to be that dumb, because nobody I've ever met, is as goofy as you unless they're on stage at Hee-Haw. (btw, those were actors, except for Junior Staples) Here's hoping we have a shot at Sams.

Later Junior...

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@Flacons_go_2-14


You are a lying POS! You will be back you coward SOS! You were supposed to never come back if they did not sign your mancrush Johnny Football. Crawl back under your rock you POS! 

anothercomment
anothercomment

Then I hope they do if it means you would not be posting. He was the SES linebacker of the year before he came out to everyone. a projected 3-5 rounder. Before he said he could not live a lie.

But to stop you from posting on here, let's hope we get that change.

By the way moron, one or the late greats of Georgia tech, who went on to play for the Cowboys was coked up one night about 25 years ago and asked me to drop him off at a club in midtown that had a very questionable reputation in those days. Since, he was a friend of a boyfriend of mine who had also played in the NFL, I asked him repeatedly, you know what this club is? Yes. You sure you still want me to drop you off here? Yes. So I did. This was during his playing days.

keendaddy
keendaddy

Bingo,

that's what we've been trying to tell you Einstein! I've seen bowling balls sharper than you. Thanks for your input, I'm filing it under, "Are you kidding? "

Dennymo
Dennymo

@Leviathan  Not this time.  You'd have to be pretty obnoxious (or profane) since a couple of Ain'ts dorks seem to have free reign to contribute absolutely nothing to the discussions here.

gfw
gfw

@stugotsNJ Very hard for someone like TD to admit he made a big mistake (especially since evaluating college talent was his job at NE).  I look for Konz to be there in the 53 as the back-up RG.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@tyger @HonestInformed  I want the Falcons to sign a starting caliber RT, but IF we do not Carimi looks like the best we have on the team right now. He was the Outland Trophy winner (best OL in all of college football) and a 1st round pick. He was cut by Lovie Smith in Chicago and then signed by Tampa Bay.........Lovie Smith cut him prior to camp as soon as he became the TB head coach..........he might just be a solid player with the correct coaching staff and I really like Mike Tice!

zuzu331
zuzu331

I hope you're right. Good luck Holmes!

tyger
tyger

@AnsweredTHIS Good analysis based on facts. Kid drafted with a broken foot. Ego and pride held back his development. ???? Yes, Baker, Konz high draft picks but busts...Holmes should've been working with 1st team Oline since April...

Flacons_go_2-14
Flacons_go_2-14

@AnsweredTHIS Stop makin exuses 4 this looser. This is the Nfl and he beter be ready R he will get cut. I dint see N E think form him so far 2 make me thin he can be a strater 4 the Flacons let a lone N E oter team.

keendaddy
keendaddy

Thought you had a crush on Jonny futbowl?