The Atlanta Falcons have settled on their 53 man roster before Tuesday’s 4:00 PM deadline. Notably, the team cut offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield after he struggled to protect the quarterback. It was a trial by fire because he played guard at Michigan. In 2021, Mayfield struggled mightily, allowing the most sacks in the NFL with 11, according to Pro Football Focus. He also had 21 quarterback hits to his name as well as 25 quarterback hurries allowed. Subsequently, a back injury caused Mayfield to miss the entire 2022 season.
Atlanta will carry three quarterbacks in projected starter Desmond Ridder, backup Taylor Heinecke and Logan Woodside. The running back room will feature first-round pick Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgier, fullback Keith Smith and Swiss-Army Knife Cordarrelle Patterson.
Drake London will feature in the wide-receiver group with Mack Hollins, Scotty Miller, KhaDarel Hodge, and Josh Ali. Kyle Pitts, Jonnu Smith, MyCole Pruitt and John Fitzpatrick will be the four tight ends on the 53.
The Falcons will carry nine offensive linemen with Chris Lindstrom leading the group. Joining Lindstrom will be Center Drew Dalman, Tackle Jake Matthews, Joshua Miles, Jovaughn Gwyn, Kaleb McGary, Kyle Hinton, Matthew Bergeron and Ryan Neuzil.
On the defensive line, Grady Jarrett and Calais Campbell will lead the room along with Ta’Quon Graham, Zach Harrison, David Onyemata, Albert Huggins and Joe Gaziano.
Arnold Ebiketie, Bud Dupree, DeAngelo Malone, Kaden Ellis, Lorenzo Carter, Tae Davis and Troy Anderson will be the eight linebackers on the 53-man roster.
A.J. Terrell, Tre Flowers, Jessie Bates and Richie Grant would be the projected starters in the secondary, with either Dee Alford starting at the nickel. Additionally, Clark Phillips III, DeMarco Hellams, Mike Hughes and Jaylinn Hawkins will back them up. Jeff Okudah will start the season injured after he finishes rehabbing his ankle injury.
Younghoe Koo will be the place kicker and Michael Pinion will be the punter while Liam McCollugh will handle the long snapping duties.
Even though defensive back Darren Hall started ten games over two seasons for the Falcons, he was waived today. Xavier “Zay” Malone and Keilahn Harris were also released, but do not be shocked if either or both wide receivers get signed to the practice squad.
Additionally, cornerback Malcolm Butler was worked out by the Falcons Tuesday afternoon. Although, he hasn’t been the same since he was benched in Super Bowl LI. Butler has been without a club since the New England Patriots released him last offseason. He did work out with the Miami Dolphins in October 2022, but did not sign a contract.
Here are the total cuts the Falcons made:
- Micah Abernathy, Defensive Back
- Slade Bolden, Wide Receiver
- Natrone Brooks, Defensive Back
- Cliff Chatman, Defensive Back
- Carlos Davis, Defensive Lineman
- Lukas Davis, Defensive Back
- Tucker Frisk, Tight End
- Frank Ginda, Linebacker
- Darren Hall, Defensive Back
- Demone Harris, Defensive Lineman
- Keilahn Harris, Wide Receiver
- Parker Hesse, Tight End
- Timmy Horne, Defensive Lineman
- Godwin Igwebuike, Running Back
- Mike Jones, Linebacker
- LaCale London, Defensive Lineman
- Xavier “Zay” Malone, Wide Receiver
- Michal Menet, Offensive Lineman
- Caeveon Patton, Defensive Lineman
- Clint Ratkovich, Running Back
- Trevor Reid, Offensive Lineman
- Mathew Sexton, Wide Receiver
- Justin Shaffer, Offensive Lineman
- Tyler Vrabel, Offensive Lineman
- Carlos Washington Jr., Running Back
- Barry Wesley, Offensive Lineman
Defensive Back Cornell Armstrong was placed on injured reserve. In 2022, Armstrong played in nine games for the Falcons, starting four of them. He recorded 33 tackles and seven passes defensed.
“Cornell [Armstrong], is somebody who’s been in our program, so you’re evaluating a lot of stuff [based] on our experience with him and then, what we were doing in camp,” Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said. “But yeah, it’s tough. It’s unfortunate when guys do get injured. It’s less opportunities.”
Wide receiver Penny Hart, the Roswell native and Georgia State alumnus, was also placed on injured reserve Tuesday afternoon.
“We only have a limited amount of time that we have to play this game,
Hart said via the Falcons’ team website. “You got to cherish it. You got to make the most of it.”
Atlanta will be able to begin signing 16 players to their practice squad at noon Wednesday.