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Falcons Roster Projection: Will Deion Jones Stay in Atlanta? – Sports Illustrated

The Atlanta Falcons begin training camp in less than three weeks, with preseason games kicking off shortly thereafter. As things stand, the Falcons hold a 90-man roster, but as the next phase of the offseason starts, that number will quickly began to dwindle.
What could Atlanta's roster look like when it opens the season against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1? Let's find out.
Mariota and Ridder will contend for the starting job, with Mariota likely having a leg up. Franks could've been categorized as a tight end, but with his ability to play multiple spots in addition to special teams, he's in solid position to make the roster.
Expect Patterson and Damien Williams to carry most of the work early, while the rookie Allgeier should slowly see his touches increase as the season progresses. Avery Williams will be Atlanta's return specialist while potentially seeing designed touches in space on offense.
Smith has been a reliable presence for the Falcons at a position valued by head coach and offensive play-caller Arthur Smith. Last season, the Falcons ran the second-most 22 personnel (two backs; normally one runner and one fullback) and Smith played 24-percent of offensive snaps; he'll be back in a similar capacity this season.
London and Edwards aim to give the Falcons a young and dangerous receiver duo, while Zaccheaus and Byrd provide proven, solid complementary options. Tate will have to beat out Frank Darby and KhaDarel Hodge, among others, for the fifth receiver spot. 
Pitts will look to assert himself as the game's top tight end, while Firkser and FitzPatrick replace Hayden Hurst (free agency) and Lee Smith (retirement). Hesse will battle John Raine, among others, for the final spot at the position.
Drafting this player in round two was the highlight of an all-around solid offseason for Atlanta.
The Falcons' 2022-23 projected win total is up for debate.
Does Terrell crack the top 5?
Atlanta will likely roll out the starting five as last year, though Dalman may push Hennessy for the starting job in camp. If McGary struggles, look for Ifedi to get an opportunity.
The Falcons have two proven NFL players in Jarrett, a team leader, and the newly signed Goldman. Behind them are second-year pros Graham and Ogundeji and third-year pro Davidson, all looking to establish roles at the sport's highest level.
After ranking last in the league in sacks a year ago, the Falcons revamped their edge group, signing Carter from the New York Giants and drafting Ebiketie and Malone on day two. Look for this group to infuse energy from the jump.
The answer to the headline: no. The Falcons are more than willing to move Jones but are in a holding pattern to see if they can get the package they want. The return won't be huge, likely nothing more than a day three pick, but they want to maximize value.
With Foye Oluokun off to Jacksonville and Jones likely on the way out, Atlanta keyed in on the linebacker unit this offseason. Evans thrived under Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees in Tennessee, while Walker and Andersen will fight for playing time alongside him.
The first big surprise here is Landman, the undrafted rookie from Colorado. He impressed during OTAs and offers immense special teams value.
Terrell and Hayward are poised to form one of the league's top corner duos, while Oliver should man the nickel position. Look for Hall to continue his upward trajectory after closing his rookie season strong.
Grant and Hawkins will look to prove that they can be Atlanta's future on the back end, while Harris and Marlowe offer veteran presences who can step in if needed.
Koo received a hefty contract extension this offseason after asserting himself as one of the top kickers in the league. Pinion, a veteran punter, offers a proven leg for Atlanta, which the team didn't have prior to his signing. McCullough replaces Pro Bowl long snapper Josh Harris.


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