Atlanta Falcons: Sharpening the Talons in Training Camp 2020

The Atlanta Falcons started the season 1-7 last year. They finished the year 7-9. Atlanta will look to make it to the playoffs for the first time since the 2017 regular season and the 2018 postseason.

The Falcons should have at least one Super Bowl victory in franchise history, but they blew it all sky high when they had a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas, at NRG Stadium, and lost 34-28 in overtime.

Dan Quinn is being retained as the head coach of this football team for now. Owner Arthur Blank and the players love him. We will see what happens this season. It will be playoffs or bust for this team this season though. What will the roster look like?

Quarterbacks

Matt Ryan will be the starting quarterback. He is the heartbeat and the heart and soul of this football team nonetheless. Ryan also has won an MVP Award in his illustrious career nonetheless.

Matt Schaub will be the backup quarterback. Kurt Benkert and Danny Etling will compete for the third quarterback spot on the roster though.

Running Backs

Todd Gurley will be the starting running back. He signed a one-year deal worth $7 million after he was let go by the Los Angeles Rams in the offseason. Brian Hill will be the second running back. Qadree Ollison and Ito Smith will be the third and fourth running backs on the roster though.

Craig Reynolds and rookie Mikey Daniel will look to snag a roster spot or two though for the Falcons.

Full Back

Keith Smith will be the full back.

Wide Receivers

Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley will be the top two wide receivers on this Falcons roster. This is one of the better wide receiving tandems in the NFL. Russell Gage and Laquon Treadwell will be the third and fourth wide receivers on the roster. Treadwell used to be a first-round pick (23rd overall selection) in the 2016 NFL Draft.

This offense has 11 former first-round picks and they are all going to be starters most likely. This offense has no excuse to underperform under Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter. Steve Sarkisian went back to The University of Alabama to be the offensive coordinator though.

Christian Blake, Olamide Zaccheaus, Devin Gray, Brandon Powell, and rookies Jalen McCleskey, Juwan Green, and Chris Rowland will compete for the final two roster spots at the wide receiver position.

Tight Ends

Hayden Hurst will be the starting tight end. Hurst was acquired in a trade from the Baltimore Ravens for a second-round pick in 2020. Austin Hooper left for the Cleveland Browns in free agency on a three-year deal worth $42 million.

Hurst was the 25th overall pick (first-round selection) in the 2018 NFL Draft. Khari Lee, Jaeden Graham, Carson Meier, and rookies Jared Pinkney, and Caleb Repp will compete for the second and third tight end spots on the roster though.

If Hayden Hurst gets hurt, then the tight end position is extremely poor.

Offensive Line

Jake Matthews will be the starting left tackle, James Carpenter will be the starting left guard, Alex Mack will be the starting center, Chris Lindstrom will be the starting right guard, and Kaleb McGary will be the starting right tackle for the Atlanta Falcons.

John Wetzel, Justin McCray, rookie Matt Hennessy, Jamon Brown, rookie Evin Ksiezarczyk, Matt Gono, Sean Harlow, and rookies Austin Capps, and Justin Gooseberry will compete for some backup spots on this roster though. Hennessy was a third-round pick (78th overall selection) in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Temple University.

Defense

Raheem Morris is the defensive coordinator. He took over during the middle of last season.

Allen Bailey, Tyeler Davison, Grady Jarrett, and Takkarist McKinley will be the starters. John Cominsky, Deadrin Senat, rookie Marlon Davidson, Austin Larkin, Steven Means, rookie Hinwa Allieu, Sailosi Latu, and rookie Austin Edwards will be the starters on the defensive line. Davidson was the 47th overall pick (second-round selection) in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Auburn University.

Dante Fowler Jr., Charles Harris, and Deion Jones will be the starting linebackers for the Falcons. Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, Foyesade Oluokun, Deone Bucannon, LaRoy Reynolds, and rookies Mykal Walker and Bryson Young will compete for the backup linebacker spots on the roster though.

Rookie A.J. Terrell and Isaiah Oliver will be the starting cornerbacks. Terrell was the 16th overall pick out of Clemson University. Jordan Miller, Kendall Sheffield, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, C.J. Reavis, Josh Hawkins, and rookies Delrick Abrams, Rojesterman Farris II, and Tyler Hall will compete for the other cornerback spots on the roster though.

Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal will be the starting safeties. They were both dealing with injuries last season. Damontae Kazee, rookie Jaylinn Hawkins, Chris Cooper, Jamal Carter, and Sharrod Neasman will compete for the backup safety spots on the roster though.

Special Teams

Ryan Allen and rookie Sterling Hofrichter will compete for the punter spot on the roster though.

Younghoe Koo will be the kicker.

Josh Harris will be the long snapper.

It is unknown at this time who will be on the punt return team as the punt returner.

The kick returner will be Brian Hill.

The Atlanta Falcons better get back to the playoffs or there will be a house cleaning. General Manager Thomas Dimitroff will also be fired if they don’t perform.

They are going to open the season on Sunday, September 13 against the Seattle Seahawks with kickoff set for 1:05 p.m. Eastern on FOX.

What do you think of the Atlanta Falcons upcoming season? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

 

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