An early look at the Falcons’ three-deep depth chart

Dominique Franks is projected win the return duties in the three-deep depth chart. (Associated Press/ Sue Ogrocki)

Dominique Franks is projected win the return duties in the three-deep depth chart. (Associated Press/ Sue Ogrocki)

BIRDLAND – Falcons head coach Mike Smith is not going to release an “official” 2010 depth chart until training camp according to the team’s website.

But now that most of the major offseason moves have been made, we’ll set up the template for them.

Rookies aren’t handed anything in this early depth chart, except for rookie returner Dominique Franks, he was projected to win the kickoff and punt return jobs.

Sean Weatherspoon, the first round draft pick, is listed No.2 behind both Mike Peterson and Stephen Nicholas.

Here’s what’s in my notebook as the three-deep depth chart that I’ll take out to mini-camp next week:

THREE DEPTH CHART

OFFNESE

QB – 1. Matt Ryan, 2. Chris Redman, 3. John Parker Wilson.

Others: D.J. Shockley.

RB – 1. Michael Turner, 2. Jerious Norwood, 3. Jason Snelling.

Others: Antone Smith and Dimitri Nance.

FB - 1. Ovie Mughelli. 2. Jason Snelling, 3. Dan Klecko.

WR – 1. Roddy White, 2. Brian Finneran, 3. Kerry Meier

WR – 1. Michael Jenkins, 2. Harry Douglas, 3. Eric Weems

Others: Ryan Wolfe, Troy Bergeron, Tim Buckley, Brandyn Harvey and Andy Strickland.

TE – 1. Tony Gonzalez, 2. Justin Peelle, 3. Keith Zinger

Others: Leroy Banks, Colin Peek and Michael Palmer

LT – 1. Sam Baker, 2. Will Svitek, 3. Blake Schlueter

LG – 1. Justin Blalock, 2. Mike Johnson, Rob Bruggemann

C – 1. Todd McClure, 2. Brett Romberg, 3. Joe Hawley

RG – 1. Harvey Dahl, 2. Quinn Ojinnaka, 3. Jose Valdez

RT – 1. Tyson Clabo, 2. Garrett Reynolds, Blake Schlueter.

DEFENSE

RDE – 1. John Abraham, 2. Lawrence Sidbury, 3. Emmanuel Stephens

DT – 1. John Babineaux, 2. Vance Walker, 3. Thomas Johnson

DT – 1. Peria Jerry, 2. Corey Peters, 3. Trey Lewis

LDE – 1. Kroy Biermann, 2. Chauncey Davis, 3. Jamaal Anderson

Other: Dan Klecko, DT; Rajon Henley, DE; Trey Bryant, DT.

WLB – 1. Michael Peterson, 2. Sean Weatherspoon, 3. Spencer Adkins

MLB – 1. Curtis Lofton, 2. Coy Wire, 3. Bear Woods

SLB – 1. Stephen Nicholas, 2. Sean Weatherspoon, 3. Robert James

Others: Weston Johnson.

RCB – 1. Brian Williams, 2. Brent Grimes, 3. Chevis Jackson

FS - 1. Thomas DeCoud, 2. Matt Giordano, 3. Rafael Bush

SS – 1. Erik Coleman, 2. Williams Moore, 3. Shann Schillinger

LCB – 1. Dunta Robinson 2. Chris Owens, 3. Dominique Franks

Others: Dominique Daniels, CB; Gabe Derricks, S.

SPECIALS

KR – 1. Dominique Franks, 2. Eric Weems, 3. Harry Douglas

PR –- 1. Dominique Franks, 2. Eric Weems, 3. Harry Douglas

P – 1. Michael Koenen, 2. Matt Bryant, 3. Steve Hauschka.

PK – 1. Matt Bryant, 2. Steve Hauschka, 3. Garrett Lindholm.

LS – 1. Joe Zelenka, 2. Justin Drescher.

Any other projections? Will Spoon win the weakside or strongside spots? Who’s the odd linebacker out, Peterson or Nicholas?

128 comments Add your comment

Frank

April 30th, 2010
7:18 am

Go Falcons!!!

Scott Case

April 30th, 2010
7:31 am

Looks like a Super Bowl bound team! Go birds!

RGO67

April 30th, 2010
7:46 am

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!

[...] D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution looks at the Atlanta Falcons three-deep depth chart. [...]

Falcon057

April 30th, 2010
7:53 am

Should you change FS and SS? Also you may want to check name on new Kicker Garrett Lindholm, not Matt. FYI

Broken wings?

April 30th, 2010
7:56 am

D Led,
How are the guys that were injured last year progressing?
(I have not been hearing much about Moore)

collegedude

April 30th, 2010
8:05 am

I love the new Falcons Nation Charity Organization (FNCO). This is an organization who is working with the Falcons to promote fan involvement in charitable events that are directly related to charities that players, staff, and former players support. The FNCO has an event that is open to everyone on May 11th called Lunch with Legends. For only $40, this lunch will feature former Falcons Jessie Tuggle, Jeff Van Note, and Buddy Curry, who will have a Q&A session with all fans in attendance and raise money for the Kids and Pros (www.kidsandpros.com) organization founded by Buddy Curry to support youth sports in Georgia communities. It’s a great opportunity for Falcon fans to get involved and also meet these Falcons greats. In addition, there will be a silent auction at the luncheon, some of the items for bid: A Gameday experience with Freddie Falcon, you and a guest will be Freddie’s special guests for a home game this year, and this will include sideline passes for the game. A round of golf (you and 2 guests) with either Buddy Curry or Jessie Tuggle. Autographed items from current Falcon players will be available for auction as well as other items. For more information, see http://www.falconnationcharities.org

The Real Falcon

April 30th, 2010
8:14 am

We will still have to rely on Redman as a backup. That’s still scary.

mountain_jim

April 30th, 2010
8:22 am

Does not look good for Busterson (J Anderson).

tnfalcon

April 30th, 2010
8:23 am

Who will be the third string QB?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ATLHOMER, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: An early look at the Falcons’ three-deep depth chart http://bit.ly/dif3Gg [...]

Craig

April 30th, 2010
8:28 am

I feel better IF we have a healthy B.Williams in the secondary. The D line will be an interesting battle in camp.

tnfalcon

April 30th, 2010
8:32 am

By the end of the season Spoon will start at WLB.

Mr. Phil

April 30th, 2010
8:33 am

Who are JasCon Snelling and Williams Moore. (Sorry DOL. Can’t let anything pass. ) Is Franks really that much of an upgrade over Weems as a return man? I don’t think we should bother playing Spoon strongside, knowing he is the long term solution at the WIl. Either he beats out Peterson and starts weakside or backs it up. Don’t put him in a position that goes away from his strength. Now if we want to move Peterson at the SLB spot and Spoon at the WLB, that is something different. Then the question is which spot is Peterson better in.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2010
8:36 am

Falcons07 — thx!

Broken Wings?
– Douglas, Jerry and Williams are still rehabbing. Moore is ready to go. He’ll participate in the mini-camp.

tnfalcon
— Looks like J.P. Wilson unless D.J. Shockley can unseat him.

naganole

April 30th, 2010
8:42 am

William Moore will take the SS starting job by the end of preseason. I think it’ll be mid season before Spoon takes the WOLB spot from Peterson…

alanfalcon

April 30th, 2010
8:53 am

Good depth to work from, expierence and heads up players-Look out for this team.
GO FALCONS AND GO SOUTHERN RUSH. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yoda

April 30th, 2010
8:58 am

Yikes……D looks awful…kinda like last years

hawesg

April 30th, 2010
8:58 am

I have little confidence that Moore will be physically able to play 16 games. Same goes for Sam Baker.

They should be looking to the FA Remainder Bin for guys like Gandy and Sharper to provide the depth and leadership the team needs for a long season.

Smyrna Jacket

April 30th, 2010
9:01 am

Move Babineaux to DE, cut JA98, get rid of the arena league unis = championship.

dean

April 30th, 2010
9:04 am

I always like it when I see a name on both sides of line: Dan Klecko. Hope he’s as tough as his daddy.

tp

April 30th, 2010
9:04 am

Peterson will switch over to the SLB so Weatherspoon can play the WLB. Nicholas will backup Peterson and perhaps play a utility pass-rusher role (in a 3-4 look during obvious passing downs). Nicholas seems to be at his best when he’s stuffing a running lane or rushing the passer – definitely not in coverage. Hence, the Weatherspoon pick!

SirReal

April 30th, 2010
9:07 am

WOW D.Led..I couldnt help but notice Jamaal Anderson WAY in the cellar.lol Yeah, I dont see Shockley unseating Wilson unfortunately…the guy just had a bad deal all around. He got snowed last year. The 5th stringers didnt help him out at all. With Douglas coming off an injury, I see why he’s so low but that could change once he’s healthy. If I had to have my starters on paper RIGHT NOW, not thinking of injuries, they’d look like this. Let me know what you think gang: OFFENSE: QB-Ryan (This is his year to turn the corner or we’ll know what we really have in him. I think he bounces back this year.) RB- Turner AND Snelling (Forget the thunder and lightning. Pound and pound some more!lol) WR- 1.White. (he’s earned it) 2)Douglas if healthy 3) Finn and Jenkins battle for the slot 4) I like the Meier kid. Him or Weems here. TE-Gonzales hands down. OL-Same except I pull Baker. His arms are too short and he cant handle top pass rushers. I give his job to Svitek while I groom Johnson. DEFENSE DEs- Abe and Beirmann/Davis DTs Babineuax, Jerry, and Anderson (the guy is stout against the run)LBs Lofton in middle, Peterson/Spoon on weakside, and keep Nicholas on strong side. CBs-Williams and Robinson S-Decoud (lil man can HIT.lol) and as much as I like Coleman, I’d like to see what Moore can do. He was the real deal at Mizz. Well, thats mine. :)

Rock

April 30th, 2010
9:13 am

Hawley can long snap.

1eyedJack

April 30th, 2010
9:17 am

Michael Koenen is your back up PK.

Rev Blake

April 30th, 2010
9:26 am

I like what I’m seeing here. Weatherspoon will start by the beginning of the season. The real question of course is whether or not the starting group stay healthy. Baker and Jerry are question marks in that area. Hope they don’t prove to be injury prone – this year will will tell. I think the depth is good. It will be very interesting to see the final starting defensive ends.

blord

April 30th, 2010
9:30 am

DOL,
2 things.
First have you heard anything about Moore being lazy or possibly depressed and not careing much about football at this point? Is that a concern? I just ask because some spankers were talking about this on another website and I figured I might ask someone who might acutally know.
Second, Shouldn’t the Beer-man be listed under punters as well:)

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2010
9:30 am

Rock — They didn’t draft him to long snap. But he can shot gun snap, too.

SirReal — Baker appears to be the only disagreement. I’m not ready to give up on him. Moore will have to show a lot to get Coleman off the field.

1eyedJack — The kicking competition should be good.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2010
9:35 am

Blord — I was hearing some that early this offseason. I checked it out and there was no validity to it. Moore is cleared and ready to go. He’s been working really hard in the film room to get ready. He’s set to make a really big push. At Mizzou, he was a stand up guy. In retrospect, he should have came out as a Junior and would have been a Top10 pick. He got hurt early in his senior year and played on a bad wheel instead of getting healthy. That lingered into last season and Falcons shut him down in order to get him healthy.

Hamp

April 30th, 2010
9:37 am

I like it except I think Jamal Anderson will turn out to be a good DT. I say move him permanantley to DT. He plays the run really well and with at least playing DE has learned to rush, so that experience no matter how bad some think it is will help him at DT. Dude could be a protypical DT with a little weight.

blord

April 30th, 2010
9:38 am

Thanks. That is good to know. I am excited to she him hit the field and that was a good move by the organization I think. I appreciate the insight.

Dan Jones

April 30th, 2010
9:40 am

I’m surprised Dominique Franks has already won the starting Kick Returner and Punt Returner jobs away from Eric Weems. I didn’t think Weems was that bad in those roles last year.

Terrell

April 30th, 2010
9:41 am

Smyrna Jacket
Babs can’t play DE. We tried that early on in his career and he wasn’t effective.

ugaclassof2004

April 30th, 2010
9:46 am

The Real Falcon

What’s wrong with Redmon? Yeah he went 1-2 as a backup and had an awful game against the Eagles. But he came off the bench when Ryan got hurt and led Atlanta to a come from behind victory over Tampa Bay and almost beat the Saints at home. I wouldn’t want the guy as my starting QB, but the team can win with him as a backup as long as they don’t expect him to carry the entire offense.

SirReal

April 30th, 2010
9:54 am

You’re right about Moore. He will have to b/c Coleman is VERY solid and he adds the veteran presence in the secondary. But Baker…I used to be very high on him until he kept getting hurt and his play slipped. I just think there are better LTs out there. Thats for your input! Have a great one D.Led!

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

April 30th, 2010
9:54 am

any news yet on Bab’s legal trouble’s. How many games do you think he may be suspended for ? I know the commish is going to get him regardless of what happens with the athorities.

PMC

April 30th, 2010
9:57 am

If that’s the case than Weems is either back to the practice squad or cut.

Big Al

April 30th, 2010
9:57 am

If we can stay healthy, we’ll be damn good! Only team in Atlanta that gives me hope right now.

Mike is Back

April 30th, 2010
10:09 am

DLed, I’m for these cats to make a ton of noise in training camp. Sean Weatherspoon, Kerry Meier , and Dominique Franks.

BigTimeTECHFan

April 30th, 2010
10:13 am

Any chance of Sidbury starting at LDE and Beermen backing them both up?
6 TE’s in camp seems like a lot, any chance that a veteren get released befor camp?

Wow, 4 pretty nice CB’s – That will be the battle to watch in camp. Who get’s the stating spot along side D Robinson.

N

April 30th, 2010
10:22 am

Can’t believe you didn’t put kick-off duties so that you could list Beer-man in the depth.

Very interested to follow the three-way kicker battle. Maybe do a segment highlighting them and it when it heats up?

Also, you clowns need to lay off Baker, Moore, and Jerry about injuries. I think TD’s strategy is/was smart. Pick up excellent players at a value spot for … wait for it … the long term. Not just one season of impact. Like DLed said, Moore would have been top 10 if he came out his Junior year. We got him in the second. He’s going to be good. Just give him a chance. A chance to … you know, actually play. If any of those three players are injured for the majority of three seasons, you can start complaining about it, but until then, the choices were sound investments in long term stocks. That’s what you want (well, if you want a team in the playoffs each year — which I do).

Season Ticket holder

April 30th, 2010
10:22 am

Osi Umenyiora is not happy in NY, he is 28 years old. He can immediately help John Abraham. Why not package Jamaal Anderson and get this deal done??? The Falcons can send a message to the NFC south that they are serious about winning with this upgrade at DE. Far too long the fan has settled for mediocre play from Jamaal Anderson and we have NOT aided John Abraham. He needs the teams support!!!! Please get this done!!!!!! The fans deserve better than 9-7 each year.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2010
10:24 am

SirReal — Thanks.

South Ga Dawg — Need to get an update. League expected to act before training camp, but we do need a case update.

BigTimeTECHFan — I think you have the enter TEs so you can give Gonzalez a rest to keep him fresh. I think it’s Williams if he’s healthy. Grimes and Owens did play well down the stretch.

JR

April 30th, 2010
10:25 am

i’ll show my ignorance: what is a LS?

ryan

April 30th, 2010
10:27 am

If the Falcons go after OSI and Roy E. Williams i think the Falcons will make the playoffs.

Cherry

April 30th, 2010
10:28 am

Hi, there! Please don’t publish this – if you can remind DL but DT Jonathan Babineaux’s name if shortened is JON or BABS (NOT JOHN). Thanks! Cherry

Section242

April 30th, 2010
10:54 am

I think you misssed Vance Walker as other DT and Coy Wire as other LB and probably a few others.

I wish we had used a 6th or 7th pick on a K. I am not impressed with what is currently on roster.

JJB

April 30th, 2010
10:57 am

When numerous outside sources and fans state that Anderson was a 1st round flop–why is it that people think that we can “package” him to some other team? They will merely wait until he is cut, and then sign him dirt cheap if they really want him.

robertussen

April 30th, 2010
11:02 am

@jr long snapper

truth

April 30th, 2010
11:07 am

Oh no…….the armchair GM’s are at it again. I’m sure the big boys running the show knows what and who it takes to win games and get into the playoffs.