Keith Smith is the most surprising addition to the Atlanta Falcons backfield. Smith was unexpectedly released by the Oakland Raiders in the team’s final cuts.
Smith is more of a traditional battering ram type fullback, who specializes in run blocking and should provide a jolt to the Atlanta Falcons Run game.
Incumbent fullback Ricky Ortiz originally made the club’s 53 man roster before Keith Smith became available. That in itself was a bit surprising, due to the fact that tight end Luke Stocker has experienced playing the h-back role.
However with the Atlanta Falcons red zone issues of the past the team decided to keep a fullback on the roster. Especially since young tight end Jaeden Graham is replacing veteran blocking tight end Logan Paulson, who was released.
So while having six running backs on the roster is certainly surprising, there is a clear reason for keeping each man at this time. The only thing than remains to be seen, is rather another position group will suffer due to lack of depth.
If any position suffers it will could be safety. The Atlanta Falcons only kept four safeties, with Sharrod Neasman and Kemal Ishmael as the reserves.
The Atlanta Falcons have the roster to compete for a Super Bowl birth in the NFC. Unfortunately their offensive line has not had much time to gel in the offseason. The Minnesota Vikings are a rough, physical defense and are not the team to face when potentially breaking in two rookies on the offensive line.
The Atlanta Falcons defense will also need a time to become cohesive, after working three starters back into the lineup. Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen and Deion Jones all will need a couple of weeks to get back into regular season form.
The Minnesota Vikings will defeat the Atlanta Falcons 24-20 in Minnesota to start week one. Fans will panic. The Atlanta Falcons will bounce back and make the playoffs.