Depth chart: Ray Edwards welcome to the ATL

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards would be a nice fit for the Falcons. (Associated Press)

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards would be a nice fit for the Falcons. (Associated Press)

BIRDLAND –   With the draft over, here’s a look the Falcons 2011 projected depth chart.

We took in to account that there will be free agency and that the Falcons will take some hits along the offensive line. Right tackle Tyson Clabo is likely to get a big offer and will have to take it. Not sure about left guard Justin Blalock, but he wasn’t drafted by the current regime so he could also bolt.

They’ll be replaced by Mike Johnson at left guard and Jose Valdez at right tackle.

Of course, Julio Jones will start opposite of Roddy White at wide receiver. They just need to teach him the 9, 8 and 7 routes (go, post and flag) to start off. They can add the rest of the route tree on the fly. They didn’t get him to catch a bunch of bubble screens.

On the defensive side, I went ahead and signed Minnesota’s Ray Edwards. (It’s fun playing GM!!!). Here’s his bio.

He’s had 29 sacks in five seasons. He had eight sacks last season and 8.5 in 2009. The only thing that is troubling is that he’s from Purdue, a Big Ten school. (Thomas Dimitroff has yet to draft a player from the Big Ten.)

“Welcome to the club Big Ray,” said GM Led. “I need 10 sacks from you at least. I need you to introduce yourself to Drew Brees, Josh Freeman and Cam Newton. You don’t have to be gentle, either.”

Some of you want to get Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomougha, but after spending $57.5 million on Dunta Robinson and putting a first-round tender on Brent Grimes, it wouldn’t be prudent to do another mega-cornerback deal. Also, the team has to lock up Grimes at some point.

Nnadmi Asomougha is not likely landing in the ATL. (Associated Press)

Nnadmi Asomougha is not likely landing in the ATL. (Associated Press)

So at nickel back, Christopher Owens is going to get a chance to step up. Also, there’s Dominique Franks and possibly a veteran free agent, who doesn’t cost that much, can be added.

The rest of the defense remains in place because I’m projecting the re-signing of Mike Peterson to play weakside on run downs.

Here’s a look at the projected 2011 depth chart:

FALCONS 2011 PROJECTED DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

QB – 1. Matt Ryan, 2. Chris Redman

RB – 1. Michael Turner, 2. Jacquizz Rodgers

FB – 1. Ovie Mughelli. 2. Jason Snelling

WR – 1. Roddy White, 2. Michael Jenkins and Eric Weems

WR – 1. Julio Jones, 2. Harry Douglas and Kerry Meier

TE – 1. Tony Gonzalez, 2. Justin Peelle and Michael Palmer

LT – 1. Sam Baker, 2. Will Svitek

LG – 1. Mike Johnson, 2. Jose Valdez

C – 1. Todd McClure, 2.Joe Hawley

RG – 1. Harvey Dahl, 2. Andrew Jackson

RT – 1. Jose Valdez 2.  Garrett Reynolds

DEFENSE

RDE – 1. John Abraham, 2. Cliff Matthews

DT – 1. Jonathan Babineaux, 2. Vance Walker

DT – 1. Corey Peters, 2. Peria Jerry

LDE – 1. Ray Edwards, 2. Kroy Biermann

WLB – 1. Mike Peterson, 2. Coy Wire

MLB – 1. Curtis Lofton, 2. Akeem Dent

SLB – 1. Sean Weatherspoon, 2. Spencer Adkins

RCB – 1. Dunta Robinson, 2. Christopher Owens

FS – 1. Thomas DeCoud, 2. Shann Schillinger

SS – 1. William Moore, 2. Rafael Bush

LCB – 1. Brent Grimes, 2. Dominique Franks

SPECIAL TEAMS

KR – 1. Eric Weems, 2. Harry Douglas

PR – 1. Eric Weems, 2. Jacquizz Rodgers

P – 1. Michael Koenen, 2. Matt Bosher

PK – 1. Matt Bryant

LS – Joe Zelenka

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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150 comments Add your comment

Marcus

May 6th, 2011
5:30 am

Falcons Will Win

May 6th, 2011
5:35 am

I like that line up, WINNING! Only thing I see is no Sidbury.

Marcus

May 6th, 2011
5:35 am

Hey, LB Stephen Nicolas is missing? Do you project him to fly the coop?
I see that you project rookie DE Cliff Matthews is taking Chauncy Davis’s spot?

RUDEDOG

May 6th, 2011
5:47 am

Really? Grimes? Killing me softly!

honest_abe

May 6th, 2011
6:15 am

edwards playing on the massively talented d-line was avg. never doubled. always got the weaker of the tackles and was still very mediocre. please dont’ overpay to get him.

GTWreck

May 6th, 2011
6:30 am

We’re not going to keep 2 punters. Losing Davis, Sidbury, Anderson, Nicholas, Coleman, and Williams from the defense and only adding Ray Edwards and some unnamed veteran cornerback via free agency would be a bad move. We need to add at least a veteran back-up at free safety and hopefully a better (i.e. 3 down) option at OLB than Peterson. Also, I’d rather keep Clabo over Dahl due to his versatility, and leave Valdez and Jackson as back-ups.

robert

May 6th, 2011
6:34 am

if we dont end up getting a cba worked out then he may not make it here and the list is pretty weak. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81fa9321/article/unofficial-list-of-potential-2011-free-agents but ray also says he wont play for the vikings next year http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81fb4397/article/edwards-says-the-money-isnt-enough-for-return-to-vikings

DC Dirty Bird

May 6th, 2011
6:51 am

I’m still trying to figure out if Ray Edwards will be a restricted free agent or an unrestricted free agent when football comes back. It seems as though he’s only a restricted free agent because there is not current CBA and he’s got less than 6 years of service in the league. If that’s the case, if a new CBA is signed, then he’d be an unrestricted free agent right? Also, it seems as though he’s already trying to build his case to get out of Minny and come to a Super Bowl challenging team.

Paddy

May 6th, 2011
6:57 am

GTWreck…I think everyone would like to keep Clabo over Dahl. I don’t think thats the point. Clabo would probably like to remain a Falcon also. He just must take the money that will be coming his way!

Kevin

May 6th, 2011
7:18 am

ATL doesn’t have a 1st round pick to give up for Edwards in 2012. And yes, it has to be a 2012 pick per the 2010 CBA rules.

Atticus

May 6th, 2011
7:18 am

D-Led, how many sacks did Bierman have?

Matt Ryan's Illegitimate Son

May 6th, 2011
7:35 am

Garrett Reynolds would be the starting RT if Clabo bolts. Jose Valdez is a OG.

The Real Falcon

May 6th, 2011
8:08 am

No LB depth experience. Guess we won’t have any injuries next year.
Wire is not enough there.
Owens showed in the Green Bay game he was not ready yet and Franks didn’t
even see the field last year except special teams.
We need Nnamdi Asomougha, no matter the cost.

dan

May 6th, 2011
8:15 am

Besides Edwards any interest in Vernon Gholson? He is young, athletic and maybe just needed to switch to a 4-3 defense like he played in college? Will need someone to groom for Abraham’s eventual replacement?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2011
8:24 am

Rafael Bush for Coleman. (Team still Coleman on their depth chart, too! —>http://www.atlantafalcons.com/depth-chart/

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2011
8:24 am

Marcus — Yes, I have Stephen getting starter money from Denver or Detroit. Although, he could return, too.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2011
8:26 am

Atticus — Biermann had 3 sacks as a starter. He had 5 sacks in 2009 as a backup.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2011
8:27 am

Matt Ill Son — Valdez is a guard-tackle and I have him beating out Garrett.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2011
8:28 am

GTWreck — We have two for now. I’m not sure how Koenen’s negotiations are going to work out and I didn’t have the nerve to cut him.

Mocking your Mock

May 6th, 2011
8:45 am

Kroy’s baby’s Mama could play D-Line.

jp

May 6th, 2011
8:48 am

so many many things wrong here. First, that o-line just became a major weakness if Clabo leaves. The reason Ryan had so much time is because the Oline and the backs generally did a good job of picking up blitzes, that got us to 13 wins. Controlling the clock with short passes and good runs. You take away from your strength and make it a weakness you just lost 3 wins and no chance at a playoff win.

Second, Edwards is good but he’s no pro bowler like the money he wants. He played with 3 other pro bowlers on his line and only managed 8 sacks? He’s never ever been double teamed, he should average 14 sacks at a minimum especially playing alongside the best DE in the game in Jared Allen.

Third, why is Jason Snelling listed as a fullback? he’s the backup at RB and that’s that. You don’t just put players in where you want so you chart looks better DOL. I should take over your job.

Finally, why is MIchael Jenkins still on this team? he should be cut the first chance we get with his salary and the emergence of Meier, Douglass, Weems and crew.

ddawgdavis

May 6th, 2011
8:50 am

Ray would be a great piece to add. Been so long without football I cannot remember his style, but he kind of set the table for Jared Allen for the past two seasons. To me, JA55 is just a plain weapon and he needs lanes for his style of rush. Edwards can definitely help set the table for that by commanding respect on that side of the line.

PoolerSpirit

May 6th, 2011
8:51 am

D-Led… I agree with your assessment that Valdez could beat out Reynolds at right tackle… the guy looked pretty good in preseason last year… I think we’ll pick up a starting nickel back, probably some guy none of us have ever heard of… we’ll also pick up a linebacker to take the place of Peterson in your lineup…

GMAN

May 6th, 2011
8:59 am

STATS SHOW BEER MAN WAS ONE OF THE BETTER DE LAST YEAR, WE WILL NOT PICK UP A TOP NOTCH DE, A GOOD ONE ILL SAY BUT NOT TOP NOTCH ANT A GOOD SAFETY, AND ABOVE AVERAGE NICKLE BACK, IM TELLING YOU GUYS DO NOT GIVE UP ON THE BEER MAN
ITS COMING

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2011
9:10 am

Nice discussion this morning. We got some deep thinkers in here.

Mocking — Be nice to Kim. She is with child.

jp — I understand the Edwards concerns. Snelling backups both the FB and RB. I just wanted to get Jacquizz in the 2 deep. (You can do what you like on your depth chart.) You keep Jenkins around in case something goes wrong with Julio. He’s only making $3.5 mil next year. Team could go on the cheap with Brandyn Harvey.

PoolerSpirit – They like having Peterson around. He’s got something left in the tank.

Poor McKay

May 6th, 2011
9:12 am

So what’s up with Jerry (1st round pick) playing behind Peters (3rd round pick)? Last year, I assumed that Jerry was still recovering from the previous season’s injury. Now, it appears that he is simply not starting material. And didn’t they sign Trey Lewis after the season? I wish we could get a little better at DT… seems like we have good but not great interior presence on the D-line. Meanwhile, are the Falcons that comfortable with Sam Baker that they won’t consider signing a FA who can push him for the starting job?

Infamous

May 6th, 2011
9:13 am

@DOL

1-I don’t see Cliff Mathews beating out Chauncey Davis AND Sidbury.
2-Also, I suggested we get Carlos Rodgers from WA. A legit veteran CB with mid-to-upper tier talent.
3-Let’s face it. You need three starting CBs in today’s pass-happy NFL. Plus we need 5 CBs on the roster.
4-We have been at the lower end of the salary cap of the 32 NFL teams. Time to spend a little money. Blank doesn’t mind. Win baby, WIN.

coachx

May 6th, 2011
9:13 am

Got to bring at least 2 of the 3 OL free agents back.

I’m fine throwing Mike Johnson into the fire but not 2 guys at once.

Otis the Drunk

May 6th, 2011
9:16 am

D.Led….what about RB Jerious Norwood? His current status?

1eyedJack

May 6th, 2011
9:33 am

DLed, it appears from the official Falcon’s website that you place a lot more confidence in Jose Valdez than the Falcons do.

If you expend a draft choice for a punter then the incumbent is toast.

I thought Finneran got his pink slip. What’s he still doing on the Falcon’s depth chart?

PMC

May 6th, 2011
9:38 am

So where do we think Nnamdi ends up? Hopefully not in this division.

Poor McKay

May 6th, 2011
9:40 am

Our depth at safety doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence… especially with Moore’s injury history.

Falcon4Life

May 6th, 2011
9:49 am

They planned ahead for Clabo and Blalock to leave by drafting wisely the past couple of years. I see Johnson winning the RT spot and Valdez winning the LG. Hawley would be the first G/C off the bench and Reynolds Svietek remain backups. Bireman will have another great camp and wins the starting job regardless of who they bring in. It is time for Sidbury to either become a force or get released. Ditto J. Anderson. P. Jerry will also make his precense known and ends up the best DL we have by the time playoffs come. K. Meier wins the slot job and unless they sign a true starting CB…the 3rd CB spot, once again, keeps ATL from a chamionship. These are my predections.

D man

May 6th, 2011
10:00 am

I have confidence in our real GM to bring the best to the ATL so we can win playoff games. I agree with the Edwards deal too, but I also say we have to add a cover guy that can make an impact. Remember what Green Bay did to us in the playoffs. UGLY… If the salary cap is going away as part of the new negotiations as I have heard, then spend the money to get the Oakland CB… If aurthur doesn’t, Dalas, New York, Washington, and several other teams will…

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2011
10:01 am

Poor McKay – He hurt that knee pretty bad. I he can step it up that will help the defense immensely. On Baker, I think the answer is yes they are comfortable with him.

Infamous — 1. Probably not, but it’s the Post Draft Depth chart and you want to see the rookies out there. 2. Rogers, that’s interesting. He was a top 10 pick. 3. Concur. You need a rugged corner for the slot receivers. Last year, they should have played Coleman and let DeCoud shut down the slot as a big nickel. But they obviously weren’t feeling EC. 4. Falcons had the lowest salary of the final eight playoff teams. Falcons salary $121.3 million vs. Green Bay $153.9. (Did the Packers flex their $32.6 million advantage) http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/falcons-get-biggest-bang-802514.html

Here We Go Again Flacons

May 6th, 2011
10:07 am

So I see that Perreier Jerry is not the strater a formerfirst round pick instead he is behind Cory Peter a thid round pick.

Here we go agian Falcons

hamp

May 6th, 2011
10:08 am

It was a mistake to start Bierman. He is a third down rusher or for passing down and distances.

take it from me

May 6th, 2011
10:08 am

This team won 13 games last year.The falcons have allways did a back slide after a desent year,this year will be no differant.look for the falcons to go 8-8 and miss the playoffs,and finish 3th in the south division behine NO and Tampa Bay. Book it!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2011
10:10 am

Otis the drunk – He’s recovering from knee surgery. But they drafted at his position. That’s usually not a good sign.

D. Man — Champ Bailey just got 4 years, $43 million. The Falcons just paid Dunta $57.5 million. They just moved up 21 slots in the draft which will cost $38.5 million. They have to sign the DE. That’s roughly $20 to $30 million. They have to do something with Grimes. (Something like Green Bay’s deal with Tramon Williams’ 4 year $41 million deal.)

Where’s the other $40 to $50 million for Nnamdi? How are the going to “SHOW NNAMDI THE MONEY?”

Here We Go Again Flacons

May 6th, 2011
10:13 am

They drafted at Rody Whites postion too. Does that mean he is gone?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2011
10:14 am

take it from me – They won 9 games and 4 scrimmages against the NFC West.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2011
10:14 am

Here We Go Again – No sir. They drafted Michael Jenkins position.

Big Reg Da Commish

May 6th, 2011
10:19 am

Do teams really keep 2 punters on the roster? Unless one is kick off specialist. And I think the Falcons will keep 3 quarterbacks, whether its J.P. Wilson or somebody else. I also could see neither Peterson nor Wire returning and keeping Nicholas. And then once the Punter situation is sorted out, one will be let go in favorite of a 5th cornerback.

take it from me

May 6th, 2011
10:20 am

Signing Grimes to a heafty contract,would be a mistake for the falcons.The guy is just to small to play that position,and will get burned time after time by the great touch QBs in the leauge,spend that money on a top FA corner,and make the team stronger.

Mike

May 6th, 2011
10:21 am

Does Ray Edwards’ FA status depend on the new CBA? Are you considering Jamal as good as cut? I’d rather see Chauncey Davis go because at least Jamal can play inside too.

Rikus

May 6th, 2011
10:39 am

DOL, let’s assume the lockout ends (by court order) before a new CBA is negotiated. Let’s further assume the 2010 rules are in effect, and Ray Edwards is not on the market at that point. What does ATL do then? Sit on our hands until a CBA is signed? Or pursue slightly older prospects that will be on the market like Jason Babin?

torgo

May 6th, 2011
10:39 am

D-Led – my own mock depth chart would look a lot like yours.

Main differences: Koenen is definitely gone. No need to find the nerve to cut him, as he has six years in and will be an unrestricted free agent regardless of the CBA outcome. I’d also project the Falcons to resign Nicholas instead of Peterson. He has earned his starting spot right here, while Peterson is a liability in coverage. Lofton, Spoon and St Nick will make a fine starting trio.

Not sure which of the offensive linemen would stick around. Regardless, I’d pick Reynolds to beat out Valdez for the starting spot but have Valdez pegged to make the roster.

I’d have Jerry starting ahead of Peters – now that he’s healthy, the coaching staff will throw him into the job they drafted him to do. And I’d put Sidbury ahead of Matthews (who would make the roster as the #5 DE). It’s not that Sidbury was a bust last year, but that Jerry’s injury forced the team to carry an extra active DT. Somebody had to sit to make room, and it needed to be a d-lineman. So this season, it’s finally time to throw El Sid into the rotation and see what he can do.

Rikus

May 6th, 2011
10:41 am

Torgo, I hope you’re right about El Sid. It was quite concerning last year, not to see him on the 45-man gameday roster week after week!

Steve from McDonough

May 6th, 2011
10:42 am

DLed, what’s the story with Sidbury? Have they given up on him?

DawginLex

May 6th, 2011
10:48 am

DLED,

I hear you think UGA is the Iowa of the SEC

So Iowa has 6 top 10 finishes, 2 big Ten titles and 96 wins during the last 10 years and has put tons of people into the NFL???

Care to elaborate??