Examining the Atlanta Falcons' roster:
Renfree hasn't looked too bad this preseason and has a good grasp of the offense. T.J. Yates? Well, he's looked terrible, so Renfree should have the backup job secured.
RUNNING BACKS (5)
Rodgers is making a strong push to get his share of touches despite how excited the organization is about Freeman. And Rodgers continues to be solid in blitz pickup, too.
If the Falcons didn't have two big, dynamic receivers such as Jones and White, I'd say rookie Geraldo Boldewijn would have a serious chance because of his size. But I give the nod to Reedy for his ability to go get the deep ball. The toughest decision might be between veterans Weems and Courtney Roby because both could be special-teams aces. I'll give Weems the nod because he can spell Hester on returns and because White went to bat for him.
TIGHT ENDS (2)
Last week, I had Mickey Shuler behind Toilolo as the backup. However, a concussion was a tough setback for Shuler as he missed the most crucial preseason game. So Pascoe is the No. 2 guy.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (10)
Since both Sam Baker (knee) and Mike Johnson (foot) were lost for the season with injuries and Carimi (ankle) missed the first three preseason games, the Falcons have to keep extra bodies for depth. That's why Gunn and Jones make this list.
DEFENSIVE LINE (7)
The rookie Hageman got his first sack in the last preseason game and seems to be getting adjusted. Let's see if his maturation continues. Goodman has made some plays as well, including on special teams.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)
Maponga has played with a lot of energy and enthusiasm as of late, and general manager Thomas Dimitroff even noticed. Undrafted rookie Smith is walking a fine line. First, he mixed it up with a few of his teammates in practice. Then Smith ticked off coach Mike Smith with an unnecessary roughness penalty against the Titans. His toughness is good but he has to settle down.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (5)
Shembo appeared to take advantage of his increased reps in the third and most crucial preseason game. It was interesting to see him start the second half against the Titans ahead of Bartu. Shembo will assume the starting role at some point.
McClain secured the nickel back role, in my opinion, over Wilson and Javier Arenas. I left Arenas off this time although he's had some moments.
Ishmael continues to show his ability to tackle and will continue to press Lowery for a starting role. Southward has to go through concussion testing after getting banged up in the third preseason game.
As long as these three guys are just doing their jobs, everything should be fine.