Atlanta Falcons Blog

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

D. Led's 3 longshots to make the Falcons' 53-man roster

FLOWERY BRANCH – In years past I’ve had trouble picking longshots to watch.

My guys would miss a meeting and be the first player to get cut.

But this year, I have a sure-fire group of three players that have been recommended to me by members of the coaching staff.

For those planning to attend training camp, watch numbers 87, 56 and 55.

Last season, Brian Poole and C.J. Goodwin were in longshot group and made the team.

Here are the three longshots who are going to make the 53-man roster:

87 – Deante Burton, Kansas State. The 6-foot-2, 205 pounder made 35 career starts at Kansas State, including his final 26 games. He caught 84 passes for 1,085 yards with five touchdowns in four seasons, and is the 29th player in school history to record 1,000 career receiving yards. He was a first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection in 2016 and a second team pick in 2014. Burton was part of a Wildcat senior class that went 32-20 with two bowl victories in four years.

56 – Jermaine Grace, Miami. The 6-foot-1, 210 pounder, was the Hurricanes’ leading tackler (79) in 2015. He was dismissed along with defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad on Aug. 27 after he was accused of violating NCAA rules in a highly publicized luxury car-rental case and didn’t play last season. The Falcons love his speed and striking abilility.

55 – J’Terius Johnson, Miami, Ohio. Jones made 149 total tackles (88 solo) with 35.5 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, six passes defensed, five fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles in three seasons at Miami of Ohio. He is an East Atlanta native and attended Miller Grove High School in Lithonia.


Part 1: Quarterbacks

Part2: Running backs

Part 3: Wide receivers

Part 4: Tight ends

Part 5: Offensive line

Part 6: Defensive line

Part: 7: Linebackers

Part 8: Cornerbacks

Part 9: Safeties

Part 10: Specialists


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3rd rounder: Meet linebacker Duke Riley

4th rounder: Meet offensive guard Sean Harlow

5th rounder: Meet defensive back Damontae Kazee

5th rounder: Meet running back Brian Hill

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