Heading into 2013 Russell Athletic Atlanta Falcons Training camp, the battle between the defensive tackles will be one many will have their eyes on. With the options that the Falcons have at the position, there is definitely some quality that the team can build around to cause disarray on the line against any team they face.
With the departure of Vance Walker, who signed with the Raiders during the free agency period, a player that will have his chance to shine will be Travian Robertson. Robertson was a seventh-round pick out of South Carolina and only saw action on the field as a Falcon a handful of times last season. Since defensive coordinator Mike Nolan seems to covet size at the interior position, Robertson's 6-foot-4, 304-pound frame could have an impact in Year 2.
A foot injury kept Corey Peters sidelined during the first half of the 2012 season, but since his return he has shown signs of returning to his 2011 form. During OTAs, it appeared that Peters was much faster and stronger, as defensive line coach Ray Hamilton told the Rockdale Citizen. We've seen what a healthy Peters can do on the line, and with more speed and agility he could cause a lot of disruption up front.
After spending a year on the practice squad, Micanor Regis has another chance to try and crack the 53-man roster. At 305 pounds, Regis is another wide-body that Nolan could have to choose from. At the University of Miami, he played in 46 career games with 112 tackles (52 solo), 5.5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and three interceptions.
Peria Jerry was able to see a lot of game time last season based on Peters' missed time. After missing most of his rookie season with an injury, Jerry has contributed to the defensive line rotation with 20 tackles (nine solo), two sacks, one forced fumble and two passes defended.
At second last year for most tackles for a loss was Jonathan Babineaux — the longest tenured defensive lineman on the roster. At 32, he continues to remain a dominant force at the position. Last season, Babineaux recorded 31 tackles, 3.5 sacks and an interception in the regular season.
Babineaux spent part of last season in Nolan's defensive scheme working at the defensive end position when Peters returned, giving the Falcons a three-defensive tackle look on many occasions.
With a solid mix of veterans and young players looking to make a mark on the 2013 Falcons roster, the defensive tackle position could be one of the more underrated position battles during training camp.