The Falcons have made several moves today to begin the process of crafting their practice squad and player developmental plan. The team has signed defensive end Nordly Capi, cornerback Devonte Johnson, nose tackle Joey Mbu, wide receiver J.D. McKissic, safety Sharrod Neasman, quarterback Matt Simms, and tight end D.J. Tialavea to the practice squad. The Falcons also claimed wide receiver Taylor Gabriel off waivers from the Cleveland Browns. In order to make this move, the team waived wide receiver Nick Williams.
Atlanta has filled seven spots on the 10 player practice squad at this time, and will look to fill out the practice squad over the next couple of days. Mbu, Simms and Tialavea were members of the Falcons practice squad last season, while Capi, Johnson, McKissic and Neasman will be new to the Falcons Plan-D program.
Capi was originally signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as a college free agent following the 2015 NFL Draft. He spent part of the 2015 season as a member of the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.
Johnson was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as a college free agent following the 2016 NFL Draft out of Weber State.
Mbu was originally signed by the Falcons as a college free agent following the 2015 NFL Draft. Mbu played in two games and recorded four tackles (one solo) with one tackle for loss last season.
McKissic played in 49 games for Arkansas State and posted 289 receptions for 2,838 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also returned 54 kickoffs for 1,473 yards and had a 27.3 kickoff return average.
Neasman was signed by the Falcons as a college free agent following the draft out of Florida Atlantic. He was a team captain as a senior in 2015 for the Owls, and he was also named the team's 2015 Student-Athlete of the Year.
Simms was originally signed by the New York Jets as a college free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft. He spent the 2015 season as a member of the Falcons practice squad.
Tialavea was originally signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as a college free agent following the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Falcons and Buffalo Bills practice squad during the 2015 season.
Gabriel was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as a college free agent following the 2014 NFL Draft out of Abilene Christian. He has spent the past two years with the Browns and has recorded 64 catches for 862 yards and one touchdown.
Williams was originally signed as a college free agent by the Washington Redskins following the 2013 NFL Draft out of Connecticut. He has played in 19 career games, catching 20 passes for 174 yards with two touchdowns.