Falcons Release Preseason Depth Chart
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons head to Detroit to play the Lions this Saturday, August 15 for their first preseason game. The team has released a preseason depth chart to show an early glimpse at where players stand. You need to remember that the Falcons are less than two weeks into camp and the start of the regular season is still more then a month away. There are many things that can and will change between now and then.
WR: Michael Jenkins, Brian Finneran, Chandler Williams, Aaron Kelly
LT: Sam Baker, Will Svitek
LG: Justin Blalock, Quinn Ojinnaka, Adam Speer
C: Todd McClure, Brett Romberg, Ben Wilkerson
RG: Harvey Dahl, Jose Valdez, Ryan Stanchek
RT: Tyson Clabo, Garrett Reynolds, Michael Butterworth
TE: Tony Gonzalez, Justin Peelle, Ben Hartsock, Jason Rader, Keith Zinger
WR: Roddy White, Marty Booker, Robert Ferguson, Eric Weems, Troy Bergeron
QB: Matt Ryan, Chris Redman, D.J. Shockley, John Parker Wilson
RB: Michael Turner, Jerius Norwood, Jason Snelling, Thomas Brown
FB: Ovie Mughelli, Verron Haynes
There aren't too many surprises here as the offense has, for the most part, been solidified from day one. Now that White is is camp the only real question is who runs in the slot now that Harry Douglas has been lost for the season. Coach Mike Smith has said on many occasions that the team brought Ferguson and Booker in because they are great blocking receivers and Smith loves blocking receivers. Booker having the edge early is surprising as Ferguson has been superior to all the receivers in blocking drills.
I'm also a bit surprised at Bergeron being so low on the depth chart. Coach Smith has raved about Bergeron, especially as a special teams guy. But when Douglas went down, Bergeron and Weems were the first two names mentioned before the additions of Ferguson and Booker.
RDE: John Abraham, Kroy Biermann, Lawrence Sidbury
UT: Jonathan Babineaux, Trey Lewis, Tywain Myles
NT: Peria Jerry, Jason Jefferson, Thomas Johnson, Vance Walker
LDE: Jamaal Anderson, Chauncey Davis, Willie Evans, Maurice Lucas
OLB: Stephen Nicholas, Coy Wire, Robert James
ILB: Curtis Lofton, Tony Gilbert, Edmond Miles
OLB: Mike Peterson, Jamie Winborn, Spencer Adkins
CB: Chris Houston, Chris Owens, Von Hutchins, William Middleton
SS: Erik Coleman, William Moore, Jamaal Fudge
FS: Thomas DeCoud, Antoine Harris, Eric Brock
CB: Brent Grimes, Chevis Jackson, Glenn Sharpe, Tony Tiller
Most of the questions lie here on the defensive side of the ball. We've been reading the writing on the all about DeCoud being the front runner for the free safety job. Now, it's actually down on paper. And even though this is a preseason depth chart, I think the starting job is his.
It was inevitable that Peria Jerry would win the starting nose tackle job. I just didn't think it would happen this quickly. It's also odd that Trey Lewis is listed with the under tackles instead of his natural position of nose tackle. But Coach Smith said last week that the defensive line had more rotations and cross-training than any other position.
Lawrence Sidbury is probably just not yet ready to be listed as number two on the defensive end chart. But, I have no doubt in my mind that he'll land there at some point this season. His pass rush skills are just too good to not have him in the rotation.
Jamaal Anderson is listed as the starting left defensive end but this battle between him and Chauncey Davis is far from over. There's no clear standout yet, but a lot of camp left for someone to pull away.
No arguments about Grimes and Houston being the starting cornerbacks. In fact, Grimes has been one of the standouts at camp thus far.
K: Jason Elam
P: Michael Koenen
KR: Jerious Norwood
PR: Brent Grimes
Grimes being the punt returner really surprises me. He hasn't seen as many reps back there in drills as have Weems, Chandler Williams and Norwood. I guess Norwood will just focus on kick returns and I would speculate that leaving Weems and Williams off could be foreshadowing that they might not be 53-man roster material, but I find that hard to believe in Weems' case as he was the number three receiver in camp after Douglas went down and before Booker and Ferguson arrived.