Atlanta Falcons tackle Lamar Holmes (76) against the Buffalo Bills at the Rogers Center. Falcons beat the Bills 34 to 31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN releases roster projection for Atlanta Falcons

It is “game week” for the Atlanta Falcons, as they will host the Miami Dolphins on Friday night at the Georgia Dome in the 2014 preseason opener. With that in mind, Vaughn McClure of ESPN has projected the entirety of the 53-man roster as of Monday morning, and there are few items of note.

First, here is what McClure had to say about the offensive line:

The Falcons believe they have a solid starting five after signing the veteran Asamoah to play right guard and drafting the rookie Matthews in the first round to play right tackle. Both have looked the part at the start of camp. Baker also looks healthy coming off major left knee injury. Lamar Holmes remains on the bubble. Harland Gunn has been solid against rookie Ra’Shede Hageman. Mike Johnson won’t make the cut. 

It is somewhat surprising to see Lamar Holmes, who started 15 games during the 2013 campaign after being a 3rd-round pick in 2012, on the cut line, but this projection has both Ryan Schraeder and Gabe Carimi making the squad. In addition, Mike Johnson would be on the chopping block, but that isn’t nearly the surprise that Holmes would be, and it will be worth monitoring during the preseason at the offensive tackle spot.

The other “major” controversy came in the secondary where Javier Arenas, who signed a one-year deal back in March, could be on the outside looking in. Here is the snippet from the piece on the cornerbacks:

Trufant and Alford could make up one of the best cornerback tandems in the league in the future if Alford continues to mature. Trufant is there already. The high-powered, multi-receiver offenses around the league only increased the need for solid cornerbacks, and the Falcons have a battle for the third corner with McClain, Wilson and Javier Arenas. McClain’s value increased when the coaches decide to cross-train him at safety and when special teams coach Keith Armstrong named him one of his top guys.

Honestly, it would be pretty shocking to me if the Falcons were to keep fifth-rounder Ricardo Allen over Arenas. While he hasn’t been lights-out in the NFL since arriving from Alabama in the 2010 NFL Draft, he is a somewhat proven commodity who could be useful in the return game should anything happen to Devin Hester. This is (obviously) not set in stone at this point, but it was an intriguing note.

We have a long way to go until the 53-man group will be finalized, but it is never too early to project.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons

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