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Joyce’s Atlanta Falcons Roster Predictions: Defensive Line

Photo: Lisa Ferdinando- https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

The Atlanta Falcons, along with the rest of the NFL, will have to finalize their 53-Man rosters by Saturday September 5 at 4 p.m. ET. This means that many of the players fighting for a roster spot will be sent home or signed to the practice squad after clearing waivers. In this series, I will do a breakdown of each of the Falcons positions and what they may look like entering the September 5 deadline.

For more content:

Predictions for final cuts: QB [2] | RB [5] | WR [6] | TE [3] | OL [9] | DL [9] | LB [5] | DB [6] | S [4] | SPT [3]

Above you find all the final roster projections for the upcoming final cut to be made on September 5. Here let’s take a look at the Defensive Line:

The Defensive Line is one of the biggest concerns for the Atlanta Falcons because they haven’t been able to generate a pass rush effectively since the days of John Abraham. For those of you who want to relive those glory days, like I did, just watch these highlights of Atlanta’s last great pass rusher. Since Abraham’s departure, Atlanta has struggled mightily to find a consistent pass rush which has ultimately killed its defenses in the past. A good pass rush can overcome a multitude of problems. The Falcons will try and rebuild this line yet again to see if they can generate a solid pass rush.

Overview:

The Star: One position the Falcons don’t have to worry about is defensive tackle where star Grady Jarrett resides. The Falcons got a steal in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft as Jarett has blossomed into one of the premier defensive tackles in the entire league. He seems to be a little undersized, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a flaw in his game. For what he lacks in size, Jarrett makes up for in power and explosiveness. He single handily has been the best part of the defensive line since entering the league. Atlanta rewarded Jarrett for his efforts, locking him into a four-year $68,000,000 deal with $42,500,000 guaranteed. Barring injury, Atlanta should be looking forward to great production from their star tackle.

Newbie: Vic Beasley was drafted with the eighth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He was expected to be Atlanta’s next great pass rusher. After a disappointing rookie season, Beasley came back to lead the league in sacks (15.5) in Atlanta’s Super Bowl run. Unfortunately for Beasley and Atlanta, there wasn’t much production out of Beasley after that which led to Atlanta letting him walk in free agency. With Beasley now in Tennessee, Atlanta signed Dante Fowler Jr. from Los Angeles. For those who don’t remember, Dante Fowler Jr. was widely considered as the best pass rusher in the draft, but hasn’t had the success as once thought. Fowler did tear his ACL which held him out of his rookie season, but he did register 11.5 sacks with the Rams last year and Atlanta hopes that is a sign of things to come. Atlanta signed Fowler to a three-year $48,000,000 contract. This is a big swing, let’s just hope it’s not a big miss.

The rest: Takk McKinley looks bigger and stronger than ever, but the former first-round pick has not played up to the billing. This led to Atlanta deciding not to pick up his fifth-year option, which means Takk will either be playing to re-sign for Atlanta or auditioning for other teams this upcoming season. Tyeler Davison was signed away from New Orleans last offseason and he performed well as a run stuffer beside Grady Jarrett. John Cominski is probably the guy Falcons coaches and players are most excited about. Both Dan Quinn and Grady Jarrett mentioned how well he has performed this offseason, even citing that he seems like a different player. Atlanta gave up a seventh-round pick to bring over former first round pick Charles Harris from Miami. They are hoping he can provide depth as a defensive end. Steven Means is the Vet of the group who should provide great depth behind Takk and Dante. Finally, we have Marlon Davidson, the big defensive lineman out of Auburn. Davidson is arguably one of the best picks, if not the best, Atlanta made in the 2020 NFL Draft. Alongside fellow star, Derrick Brown, Davidson shined at Auburn and his versatility along the defensive line is what led Atlanta to taking him in the second-round. He is someone Atlanta can use to clog up the middle, or explosive enough to move to the outside. He is a player to keep an eye on.

History:

Here is a list of the

  • 2017: eight defensive linemen
  • 2018: nine defensive linemen
  • 2019: nine defensive linemen

Guarantees:

These are the players I believe will be on the roster:

  • Grady Jarrett
  • Takk McKinley
  • Dante Fowler Jr.
  • Tyeler Davison
  • Marlon Davidson
  • Steven Means
  • John Cominski

Fighting for a Spot:

  • Allen Bailey
  • Charles Harris
  • Sailosi Latu
  • Austin Edwards
  • Hinwa Allieu
  • Deadrin Senat
  • Jacob Tuioti-Mariner

Final Projection:

I believe the nine defensive linemen trend will continue. I went back and forth because I do believe Atlanta could just as easily keep one less offensive lineman and add one more defensive lineman. But for now, I feel more comfortable saying they keep nine.

  • Grady Jarrett
  • Takk McKinley
  • Dante Fowler Jr.
  • Tyeler Davison
  • Marlon Davidson
  • Steven Means
  • John Cominski
  • Allen Bailey
  • Charles Harris
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  1. Pingback: Joyce's Atlanta Falcons Roster Predictions: Running Backs | SkullKing Sports

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