One of the biggest question marks heading into the 53-man cut down date of August 30 was 1) how many receivers will the Falcons carry? And 2) who will they be?
Let's say - hypothetically - the Falcons carry five receivers on the 53-man roster. Let's also say Drake London, Olamide Zaccheaus and Bryan Edwards are taking up three spots. Who fills the other two? Well, we're getting closer to an answer as the Falcons announced on Tuesday afternoon that they had cut Geronimo Allison and Auden Tate when the team went from 85 players to 80 on the active roster.
This is an interesting development for the Falcons as Allison and Tate were two individuals many felt were on the bubble of potentially making the 53-man roster.
Tate was an offseason signing that excited a number of people in the fan base because of his height alone. Then, came the Allison pick up, too. The Falcons front office was following a pattern of providing Arthur Smith with taller and longer receivers this offseason. However, neither signing ultimately panned out.
Tate never cracked the second-team offensive rotation. Throughout all of training camp, he spent majority of his time with the reserve groupings.
Allison was a different story, though. When Edwards was injured early in training camp, landing awkwardly on his shoulder at practice, Allison had a few more opportunities in rotation. Without London (knee) a week later, those reps continued to grow as he often switched back and forth within the first- and second-teams.
Between KhaDarel Hodge, Frank Darby and Damiere Byrd, it felt like Allison was someone who was in the conversation to attain one of those open spots on the 53-man. But then the Falcons signed KeeSean Johnson last week. And then Jared Bernhardt continued to perform well during joint practices in New York, with Desmond Ridder finding him open a few times against the Jets on Monday night.
For as tall as they are, Allison and Tate were surpassed by all of the names listed above. And now we find that we know more about which direction this coaching staff and front office is heading when it comes to building this group.
What's occurring at the wide receiver position is one of the most competitive positional battles happening for the Falcons right now. Figuring out who earns those final roster spots is one of the biggest evaluations this staff has to do this week.
For players like Hodge, Darby, Byrd and even someone like a sneaky Bernhardt, the next two days of joint practices with the Jaguars and the subsequent game this weekend will be the deciding factor in who we see make the cut come August 30.
Keep your eye on this position group. It could be a very competitive week for receivers in Atlanta.
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