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Falcons 2020 roster: Position-by-position breakdown

A closer look at the Falcons' 2020 roster by position groups 

The Atlanta Falcons trimmed their roster down to 53 players on Saturday.

There are a few items to note when looking at the Falcons' 53-man roster this year. Cornerback Jordan Miller is not listed on the team's 53-man roster because he will serve a three-game suspension to start the season; he was not released. Defensive end Steven Means is currently on Atlanta's reserve/COVID-19 list and does not factor into the team's 53-man limit, but still remains with the team. Finally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NFL teams are allowed to keep 16 players on the practice squad this year.


Here is a position-by-position breakdown of Atlanta's roster as the team heads into the 2020 regular season.

Let's start with the offense:


Quarterbacks (2)

  • Matt Ryan
  • Matt Schaub

Analysis: No big surprises here. Matt Schaub will serve as Matt Ryan's backup for the fifth season.


Wide receivers (6)

  • Julio Jones
  • Calvin Ridley
  • Russell Gage
  • Christian Blake
  • Olamide Zaccheaus
  • Brandon Powell

Analysis: Christian Blake and Brandon Powell earned the final two spots at wide receiver. Powell making the 53-man roster means he will be Atlanta's starting kick and punt returner after he and Chris Rowland competed for the job during training camp.


Running backs (5)

  • Todd Gurley II
  • Brian Hill
  • Ito Smith
  • Qadree Ollison
  • Keith Smith (FB)

Analysis: The Falcons will rely on a committee of running backs behind Todd Gurley with Brian Hill, Ito Smith and Qadree Ollison. Fullback Keith Smith played in all 16 games in the 2019 season and was rewarded with a three-year contract extension this offseason.


Tight end (3)

  • Hayden Hurst
  • Jaeden Graham
  • Luke Stocker

Analysis: Hayden Hurst will start at tight end in his first season with the Falcons after they traded a second-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for him this offseason. The Falcons signed Luke Stocker during training camp for his blocking skills and are confident in Jaeden Graham behind Hurst as a pass-catcher.


Offensive line (9)

  • Alex Mack
  • Chris Lindstrom
  • Justin McCray
  • Jake Matthews
  • Matt Hennessy
  • Matt Gono
  • John Wetzel
  • Kaleb McGary
  • James Carpenter

Analysis: The Falcons' offensive line returns four of five starters from the 2019 season. Rookie Matt Hennessy has likely locked up the starting left guard spot.


Defensive line (11)

  • John Cominsky
  • Dante Fowler Jr.
  • Marlon Davidson
  • Jacob Tuioti-Mariner
  • Charles Harris
  • Allen Bailey
  • Deadrin Senat
  • Tyeler Davidson
  • Grady Jarrett
  • Takk McKinley
  • Steven Means*

Analysis: The Falcons return a majority of their starting defensive line from 2019 and have high hopes for what Dante Fowler Jr. will bring off the edge opposite of Takk McKinley. Grady Jarrett is coming off his first Pro Bowl season and will anchor the group. He was selected as a team captain for the first time.
* Reserve/COVID-19 list


Linebackers (5)

  • Mykal Walker
  • Deion Jones
  • LaRoy Reynolds
  • Foye Oluokun
  • Deone Bucannon

Analysis: Atlanta's linebacker group is one of the positions that underwent the most change this offseason. Deion Jones and Foye Oluokun will carry the weight of the group, but rookie Mykal Walker took snaps with the first-team defense at various times during training camp.


Cornerbacks (6)

  • Kendall Sheffield
  • A.J. Terrell
  • Darqueze Dennard
  • Isaiah Oliver
  • Blidi Wreh-Wilson
  • Jordan Miller *

Analysis: The Falcons are deeper at cornerback than they've been in a while. First-round draft pick, A.J. Terrell, turned heads during training camp while starting at the left cornerback spot. Darqueze Dennard was signed in early August and spent time primarily starting at nickel cornerback throughout camp.

* Begins year serving a three-game suspension


Safety (5)

  • Damontae Kazee
  • Keanu Neal
  • Jaylinn Hawkins
  • Ricardo Allen
  • Sharrod Neasman

Analysis: The Falcons have talent and depth at safety with three starters at the position in Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee and Ricardo Allen. Jaylinn Hawkins saw reps at strong safety and nickel linebacker during training camp.

And, to complete the roster, a look at the special teams unit:


Special teams (3)

  • Younghoe Koo
  • Josh Harris
  • Sterling Hofrichter

Analysis: The special teams unit will look different this year with Sterling Hofrichter, Younghoe Koo and Josh Harris all working together for the first time.

The Falcons' 2020 roster is constantly evolving and we've amassed all the players in one gallery that will be updated throughout the year.

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