Atlanta Falcons name 53-man roster, begin to build practice squad

The reigning NFC champions have confirmed their roster for the upcoming season.

Atlanta Falcons name 53-man roster, begin to build practice squad
Takk McKinley (#98) chases the quarterback in Atlanta's final preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Falcons are primed and ready for the upcoming season, aiming to avenge last season's heartbreaking Super Bowl LI loss. On Saturday, the roster was cut down to 53 players and since then, the Falcons have begun to piece together their practice squad.

Without further ado, here is the 53-man roster for the 2017 Atlanta Falcons:

 

 

The Roster

Offense

QBs: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub. 

No surprises here for the Falcons as the reigning MVP looks to build on his stellar 2016 campaign. Matt Schaub continues as the veteran backup who knows the playbook like the back of his hand.

RBs: Devonta Freeman,Tevin Coleman, Terron Ward, Brian Hill.

Four running backs on an NFL roster is surprising but with so much talent available at the position, it was difficult to see either Ward or Hill missing out.

FB: Derrick Coleman

WRs: Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel, Justin Hardy, Andre Roberts, Nick Williams.

The big surprise in the wide receiver group is Nick Williams, who has been around the team for the last few seasons. Williams' experience puts him as the number six receiver, rounding off an impressive group of pass catchers.

TEs: Austin Hooper, Levine Toilolo, Eric Saubert. 

Saubert, a fifth round pick in 2017, struggled in preseason but manages to make the roster over Josh Perkins. The rookie should learn well from Toilolo and second year star Austin Hooper.

OL: Jake Matthews (LT), Andy Levitre (LG), Alex Mack (C), Wes Schweitzer (RG), Ryan Schraeder (RT), Austin Pasztor (T), Ben Garland (G/C), Ty Sambrailo (T), Sean Harlow (G)

Pasztor and Sambrailo are new arrivals to the team and add much needed depth to the offensive line. There isn't much competition at any position except RG, which seems to have gone to Wes Schweitzer for now.

Defense

EDGE: Vic Beasley, Takk McKinley, Brooks Reed.

Last season's sack leader, Vic Beasley Jr., is joined by the solid Brooks Reed and rookie Takk McKinley as the pass rush in Atlanta continues to improve.

DE/DT: Adrian Clayborn, Jack Crawford, Derrick Shelby, Courtney Upshaw.

No surprises at defensive end as Adrian Clayborn and Derrick Shelby return from injury while Jack Crawford, who impressed in preseason, and Courtney Upshaw make up a solid group.

Ra'Shede Hageman was placed on the Commissioner Exempt list due to a domestic violence case stemming from 2016, meaning he misses out on the 53-man roster.

DT: Grady Jarrett, Dontari Poe

The two starting defensive tackles should wreak havoc up front, both against the run and in pass situations. Atlanta's defensive line looks promising ahead of this season, especially with Jarrett and Poe anchoring.

LB: Deion Jones, Duke Riley, De'Vondre Campbell, Jermaine Grace, LaRoy Reynolds.

Grace is the standout name here as the undrafted free agent impressed enough in preseason to earn a spot on the roster. Rookie LB Duke Riley should see plenty of snaps this season alongside last season's rookie star Deion Jones.

CB: Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, Brian Poole, CJ Goodwin, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Deji Olatoye.

Trufant returns from injury this season to headline a great group of cornerbacks, including last season's UDFA gem Brian Poole. Jalen Collins is suspended for 10 games so he'll spend time on the reserve/suspended list. 

Safety: Keanu Neal (SS), Sharrod Neasman (SS), Kemal Ishmael (SS/LB), Ricardo Allen (FS), Damontae Kazee (FS).

The hard hitting nature of Keanu Neal should be on show in his second season while Ricardo Allen continues to look great at the free safety position. Neasman, Ishmael and rookie Kazee give the Falcons a sense of relief as good cover for the two starters.

Special Teams: Matt Bryant (K), Matt Bosher (P), Josh Harris (LS).

The ageless wonder Matt Bryant is set for another season of efficient and reliable kicking. The jobs of Bosher and Harris were never in doubt after rarely putting a foot wrong last season.

Practice Squad

The Falcons added 10 of 11 possible players to their practice squad as of September 3rd: J'Terius Jones (DE), Joe Vellano (DT), Marvin Hall (WR), Jhurell Pressley (RB), Deante Burton (WR), Josh Perkins (TE), Alex Gray (TE), Daniel Brunskill (T), Taniela Tupou (DT), Marcelis Branch (S).