The offensive line in particular has been in question the whole year for the Falcons. After not showing up for the game against Cincinnati, doing a decent job in Baltimore and then getting overrun in the game against Tennessee, the increasing fear of the offensive line being a big time weakness is palpable among Falcons fans.
With that in mind, let's look who is set to make the team on the O-line.
Currently On The Roster: Sam Baker, Lamar Holmes, Garrett Reynolds, Ryan Schraeder, Terren Jones, Joe Hawley, Jacques McClendon, Phillipkeith Manely, Justin Blalock, Harland Gunn, Theo Goins, Alec Sovoie, Peter Konz
Who Will Be Cut: Terren Jones, Jacques McClendon, Phillipkeith Manley, Theo Goins
The Falcons are reportedly diving into the depths of free agency to get help for their so far overmatched line, so we may have a different look in terms of the O-line by week 1 against New Orleans. For now, it appears that the starters will be Peter Konz at Center, Lamar Holmes at RT, Garrett Reynolds at RG, Justin Blalock at LG and Sam Baker at LT.
As a unit, these guys aren't doing a great job and neither are their backups, making it even more difficult to discern who is going to be cut and who won't be. Joe Hawley and in particular, Ryan Schraeder have had good camps and have done ok in the preseason, but outside of them, the rest of this roster is a toss up as to who exactly is going to make it at the moment.
And with most of the starting offensive line is to get more reps than expected against Jacksonville due to their poor play against Tennessee, so it's going to make it harder for guys like Jones, Mclendon, Manley and Goins to get their opportunities to play.
Currently On The Roster: Kroy Biermann, Jonathan Babineaux, Corey Peters, Osi Umenyiora, Cliff Matthews, Travian Robertson, Peria Jerry, Jonathan Massaquoi, Malliciah Goodman, Stansly Maponga, Neal Hyunh, Micanor Regis, Adam Replogle
Will Be Cut: Cliff Matthews, Neal Hyunh, Micanor Regis, Adam Replogle
In terms of the back ups, the Falcons drafted two DEs this year in Stansly Maponga (4 total tackles, 1 TFL) and Malliciah Goodman (4 total tackles). While neither one has had a great preseason, don't expect Coach Mike Smith and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to give up on these guys yet. They should be assured a roster spot, and have done well enough to warrant not being cut.
Johnathan Massaquoi (5 tackles, 1 sacks) has been solid at DE and should definitely get a spot.
Cliff Matthews is more a question mark with only two tackles thus far in the preseason. But he has experience with the Falcons last year as a special teams player, so he may have an advantage over some of the other rookies on the line trying to make it in that respect. Still, with so many other DEs on the roster deserving of a chance on the team, his time as a Falcon may be in jeopardy.
Travian Robertson has never shown much through his NFL career and only has one tackle in the preseason. His time with the Falcons is definitely in question. Robertson does have an unfair advantage however in that if he is cut, and the roster plays out how we're predicting, that leaves only three DTs on the 53 man roster (Babineaux, Peters and Jerry). If one of them goes down, that leaves no DTs on the bench. Robertson may be kept around more so for having a bit more depth than anything.
Peria Jerry will make the team despite him performing well below expectations throughout his career to add a little depth to the D-line in case of injury.
Micanor Regis is way down on the depth chart at defensive tackle and has only compiled two tackles so far in the preseason. His chances to make the team are dwindling unless he puts up a big performance against Jacksonville.
Neal Hyunh hasn't registered any statistics and has hardly seen the field in the preseason. It would be surprising if he has a roster spot after the 31st of August due to these factors.
Replogle, like Hyunh has hardly seen the field this year and has recorded not statistics. So like Hyunh, he's very unlikely to make the team at this point.
The unfortunate odd men out look to be Hyunh, Replogle, Regis and Matthews by our estimations.
What do you think of our predictions? What are yours? Let us know in the comments section.
So far, here is our projected Falcons final roster.
Here are part 1 and 2 of our prediction theories:
QB- Matt Ryan, Dominique Davis
RB- Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jason Snelling, Antone Smith
C- Peter Konz, Joe Hawley
RT- Lamar Holmes, Alex Savoie
LT- Sam Baker, Ryan Schraeder
RG- Garrett Reynolds, Harland Gunn
LG- Justin Blalock
DE- Osi Umenyiora, Jonathan Massaquoi, Malliciah Goodman
DE- Kroy Biermann, Stansly Maponga
DT- Corey Peters, Peria Jerry
DT- Jonathan Babineaux, Travian Robertson
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