Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DEPTH CHART: Where Matthews, Freeman fit on offense

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FLOWERY BRANCH – Unsolicited, the Falcons’ brass kept making a point about there being an “open competition” throughout the roster.

They say that every offseason, but for some reason they seemed more sincere this year.

I think that applies to the defensive side of the ball. The offense is pretty much set.

First-round pick Jake Matthews will have to beat out Lamar Holmes, Ryan Schraeder and Mike Johnson for the right tackle spot.

“He has a great skill set not only on the field, but off the field,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “He’s got great lineage, we all know his family background. He has been in the NFL since the day he was born, so we are really excited about that.”

Fourth-round pick Davonta Freeman will have to supplant Jacquizz Rodgers as the No. 2 running back and maybe the heir apparent to Steven Jackson.

“He’s a versatile back,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “He has the ability to tote the rock as a lead back. He’s a strong back. He runs with some authority and some anger to his running style. He can catch the ball well, and for us we thought he was a real versatile addition to our running back group.”

Here’s my early take on how to stack the offense.

Everyone is not accounted for (deep reserves and undrafted rookie signees).

We will tweak this depth chart as we move forward to the rookie minicamp (friday through Sunday), the OTAs (May 27-June 12) and the mandatory minicamp (June 17-19):


WR Julio Jones, Drew Davis,

LT Sam Baker, Lamar Holmes

LG Justin Blalock, Mike Johnson

C Joe Hawley, Peter Konz

RG Jon Asamoah, Gabe Carimi

RT Jake Matthews, Ryan Schraeder

TE Bear Pascoe, Levine Toilolo

Slot WR Harry Douglas, Darius Johnson

WR Roddy White, Harry Douglas

QB Matt Ryan, Dominique Davis

RB Steven Jackson, Davonta Freeman and Jacquizz Rodgers

FB  Patrick Dimarco, Roosevelt Nix


Round 1 / 6 -- Jake Matthews, RT, 6-5, 308, Texas A&M

Round 2/37 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, 6-6, Minnesota

Round 3/68 – Dezmen Southward, FS, 6-0, 211, Wisconsin

Round 4/103 – Devonta Freeman, RB, 5-8, 206, Florida State

Round 4/139 – Prince Shembo, LB, 6-1, 253 Notre Dame

Round 5/147 – Ricardo Allen, CB, 5-9, 187, Purdue

Round 5/168 – Marquis Spruill, LB, 6-1, 231, Syracuse

Round 7/253 – Yawin Smallwood, LB, 6-2, 246, Connecticut

Round 7/255 – Tyler Starr, LB, 6-4, 250, South Dakota


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.