Examining the Atlanta Falcons' roster:
You can't ignore the way Yates played in the preseason finale at Jacksonville, completing 15 of 20 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns. It was a backup-worthy performance. Now, the Falcons will have to decide whether to keep three quarterbacks or take a chance of losing Sean Renfree with hopes of keeping him on the practice squad.
RUNNING BACKS (5)
Should be interesting to watch this group develop. Whatever happens, Smith proved himself worthy of more touches with an outstanding preseason. Let's see if he is truly incorporated into the game plan, as promised.
Here is my thought: As much as it would be great to see undrafted rookie Bernard Reedy make the 53-man roster, the Falcons have to think special teams here. Weems and Roby are guys willing to throw their bodies all over the field to make a tackle or secure a block. And with as disastrous as special teams were this preseason, the Falcons need strong contributions from guys like Weems and Roby. Reedy ends up on the practice squad.
TIGHT ENDS (2)
Pascoe wins the backup role for his blocking, but Mickey Shuler put up one heck of a fight. A concussion kept Shuler out of the most important preseason game and thus, gave Pascoe a little more advantage.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (10)
Holmes should be set as the starting right tackle after a strong preseason. Some of Konz's mistakes in the preseason finale make me wonder if rookie James Stone might get serious consideration as insurance at center.
DEFENSIVE LINE (7)
I really, really want to put Travian Robertson on this list. Seriously. But something tells me he is going to be one of the toughest decisions in the room. We will see how it unfolds.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)
It was a tough battle between rookies Starr and Jacques Smith, but Smith likely hurt his cause by being ejected for unnecessary roughness in the third preseason game.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)
Still believe Shembo will grab a starting role over Bartu sooner than later. Veteran Pat Angerer doesn't make the cut.
Although Wilson hasn't been spectacular, the Falcons need experienced cornerbacks to go up against some of these high-powered, multiple-receiver offenses they will have to face. That is why McClain, Wilson, and Arenas need to be part of the defensive rotation as extra defensive backs.
Baker was added here just in case Lowery and Southward have lingering concussion issues. Both missed time this preseason because of concussions, and Lowery saw his 2013 season end prematurely because of a concussion.
As long as these three guys are just doing their jobs, everything should be fine.