Countdown to camp — 5 longshots to make the Falcons

May 6, 2016 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons first and second round draft picks Keanu Neal (right) and Deion Jones run drills with other rookies during the first day of 2016 Atlanta Falcons Rookie Minicamp at the Falcons' Flowery Branch Headquarters Complex on Friday, May 6, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

May 6, 2016 Flowery Branch – Atlanta Falcons first and second round draft picks Keanu Neal (right) and Deion Jones run drills with other rookies during the first day of 2016 Atlanta Falcons Rookie Minicamp at the Falcons’ Flowery Branch Headquarters Complex on Friday, May 6, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — The countdown to training camp 2016 has started.

The Falcons report to training camp on Wednesday, July 27. The first practice is set for two weeks from today, July 28. Here’s the training camp schedule with the list of practices that will be open to the public.

Last season, safety Robenson Therezie and running back Terron Ward made the opening day 53-man roster as undrafted rookies. Defensive tackle Joey Mbu, another undrafted prospect made the practice squad and was promoted to the roster on Dec. 11.

Also, wide receiver Nick Williams and linebacker Allen Bradford made the roster as veteran longshots.

Here are five longshots who could make the 53-man roster in 2016:

1. J.D. McKissic, wide receiver. An undrafted rookie from Arkansas State made an impression on assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Raheem Morris over the offseason. “He has gotten here and worked as hard as he can,” Morris said. “He has had his ups and his downs like you expect from most rookies. But he has a nice natural learning curve going for himself and he has been able to move to multiple positions.” McKissic had 289 catches and 11 touchdowns at receiver.

2. C.J. Goodwin, cornerback.  The Falcons moved the former practice squad player from wide receiver to cornerback over the offseason. Goodwin, who’s 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, was used in practice at cornerback last season and went against star wide receiver Julio Jones. “Guarding Julio Jones is not the easiest job on the planet,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “We said, ‘we might have something here.’”

3. LaRoy Reynolds, linebacker. Reynolds, who sent to enter his fifth year in the league, was signed to a one-year $675,000 deal. He impressed defensive coordinator Richard Smith with his speed and mobility.  “I’ve been really pleased with his performance,” Smith said. “He’s going to push hard. Not only is he a really good special teams player, but he’s been making plays on the ball. He’s really impressed me.”

4. Ivan McLennan, linebacker. The Falcons believe that McLennan has some pass-rush ability. The coaches are looking forward to evaluation him in the exhibition games. The roster might be too crowded and he could be a practice squad candidate. He played in 25 games for Washington State  over the past two seasons. He made 63 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks.

5. Brian Poole, Safety. He played in 49 career games for Florida and made 120 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and six interceptions.

TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

Here’s a closer look at the training camp schedule:

July

27 – Wednesday, team reports for camp.

28 – Thursday, practice open to public, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

29 – Friday, public practice, 10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.

30 – Saturday, public practice, 10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.

31 – Sunday, public practice, 10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.

August

1 – Monday, no practice.

2 – Tuesday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

3 – Wednesday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

4 – Thursday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

5 – Friday, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Grayson High School

6 – Saturday, players off.

7 – Sunday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

8- Monday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

9 – Tuesday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

10 – Wednesday, public practice 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

11 – Thursday vs. Washington 7 p.m. (Georgia Dome).

12 – Friday, closed practice.

13 – Saturday, players off.

14 – Sunday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

15 – Monday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

16 – Tuesday, public practice: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

PROJECT PASS RUSH

Dan Quinn pressing all buttons to create a pass rush

How does drafting Keanu Neal help the pass rush?

DL line coach Bryan Cox: Hageman needs to improve his play

LB coach Jeff Ulbrich: ‘Cream will rise’ at linebacker for Falcons

Defensive coordinator Richard Smith pleased with early progress of the defense

Falcons still have a spot for DT Jonathan Babineaux

Dwight Freeney 95 percent certain that he will play in 2016

Falcons working 80 percent of time on pass rush

Weatherspoon on Freeney: ‘He still has it’

90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS — POSITION BY POSITION

OFFENSE

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Quarterbacks

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Running backs

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Wide receivers

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Tight ends

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Offensive line

DEFENSE

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive line

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Linebackers

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive backs

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Specialists

 


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