Tabeek's roster predictions: Falcons special teams

Several positions are up for grabs but here's an early guess at how the Atlanta Falcons' 53-man roster could look heading into 2020

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here belong to Matthew Tabeek and not the Atlanta Falcons, unless noted otherwise.

Unlike last season, the Falcons are heading into 2020 with virtually no question marks when it comes to their specialists.

This time last year, the Falcons had gone into training camp and the preseason feeling pretty good about kicker Giorgio Tavecchio but by the time camp wrapped up, former kicker Matt Bryant was on his way in. And Tavecchio was released after a series of misses during preseason action.

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Younghoe Koo, who played in eight games for the Falcons in 2019, converted 23 of 26 field goal attempts, 15 extra point attempts and tallied 84 points. Koo led the NFL with the most points in Weeks 10-17. The Falcons must feel pretty good about the 26-year-old heading into the season since they didn't bring in any competition at that spot.

OVERVIEW

Special debut: Younghoe Koo went four-for-four (37, 36, 48, 30 yards) on field goals in his debut with the Falcons against the New Orleans Saints in Week 10 of 2019. He was subsequently named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance. Koo later made all four field goal attempts, including a 37-yarder, 35-yarder, 29-yarder, and a season-long 50-yarder during Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers. The Georgia Southern product also recovered Damontae Kazee's fumble at the Carolina 16-yard line, which set up his 29-yard field goal. He was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for that performance, too.

Sterling leg: The Falcons parted ways with veteran punter Matt Bosher this past offseason and drafted Sterling Hofrichter in the seventh round of April's draft. A four-year starter at Syracuse, Hofrichter punted the ball 270 times during his college career and averaged 43.2 yards per punt; his hangtime on punts was among the best in college football.

By Josh he's steady: Josh Harris has now played in 123 games as the Falcons' long snapper on placekicks and punts. Harris saw action in all 16 games as the long snapper on placekicks and punts in 2019. The Falcons converted 34 of 38 field goal attempts and 29 point after attempts. The Falcons also punted 52 times with a 42.5 average, three touchbacks and 22 punts downed inside the 20 in 16 games.

RECENT HISTORY

Here are the number of specialists the Falcons have kept in previous seasons on the initial roster:

LOCKS

Here are the players who I think are locks to make the team (i.e., starters and key reserves) unless something unforeseen should happen (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Josh Harris
  • Sterling Hofrichter
  • Younghoe Koo

ON THE BUBBLE

Here are the players who I think are still in the mix to make the team, could land on the practice squad or will be released (listed in alphabetical order):

  • None

PREDICTION

  • 2020 roster forecast: 3 specialists

Tabeek's Take: No surprises here. The Falcons are set at kicker, punter and long snapper. The only question mark right now is at kick and punt returner, where I have wide receiver Chris Rowland with a slight edge over Brandon Powell to make the roster.

PREDICTING THE 53-MAN ROSTER

A look at specialists Josh Harris, Younghoe Koo and Sterling Hofrichter. The views and opinions represented here and in the corresponding article belong to Matthew Tabeek and not the Atlanta Falcons, unless noted otherwise.

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