Dezmen Southward, Rex Grossman don't make projected Falcons' cuts

Former third-rounder Dezmen Southward may be on the outside looking in after final roster cuts. Bill Kostroun/AP

Here is a position-by-position look at who stays, who goes when the Atlanta Falcons make their final cuts.


Matt Ryan

Sean Renfree

TheY just need to hope Ryan doesn't get hurt, as he hasn't missed a game since the 2009 season. The Falcons could go with T.J. Yates over Renfree if they wanted, but Dan Quinn all but eliminated Rex Grossman after the preseason finale.


Devonta Freeman

Tevin Coleman

Antone Smith

The next question is, who will be the starter? A hamstring strain kept Freeman from playing in any preseason games, while Coleman flashed in the final matchup against the Ravens. As long as Freeman is healthy, he should have an edge just based on being a year wiser and better at catching the ball out of backfield. Rookie Terron Ward is a candidate for the practice squad.


Patrick DiMarco

The incumbent DiMarco wins out in his battle against challenger Collin Mooney, who showed some flashes.


Julio Jones

Roddy White

Devin Hester

Eric Weems

Leonard Hankerson

Justin Hardy

Julio is Julio but if White stays healthy coming off elbow surgery and Hankerson carries his preseason over into the regular season, this will be a very dangerous group. Not to mention the contributions of the rookie Hardy and Hester. Nick Williams made a strong case to stick but might be caught up in the numbers.


Jacob Tamme

Tony Moeaki

Levine Toilolo

The primary concern here might be injuries. Tamme banged up his back in the final preseason game, while Moeaki missed the final preseason game with an ankle injury. Toilolo can't drop the ball if he gets opportunities, and he showed improved hands this preseason.


Jake Matthews

Ryan Schraeder

Tyler Polumbus

Jake Rodgers

Chris Chester

Mike Person

Jon Asamoah

Joe Hawley

James Stone

If Matthews' back doesn't improve immediately, the Falcons are in real trouble. It's to imagine beginning the season with Polumbus as the starting left tackle. The saga involving the demoted Asamoah likely hasn't concluded yet. He is not an ideal fit for the scheme but the Falcons don't necessarily have to release him immediately. Plus he could have some trade value. Injury comes into play at center. Hawley said his surgically repaired right knee won't be fully healthy all season and he continues to experienced soreness on a regular basis. Stone, who could start at left guard, started at center for Hawley last season. And Person is another center candidate but could start at left guard himself.


Ra’Shede Hageman

Jonathan Babineaux

Paul Soliai

Grady Jarrett

Tyson Jackson

Adrian Clayborn

Cliff Matthews

The rookie Jarrett could put a lot of pressure on everybody for playing time with his high motor and explosion. Hageman has to take another step, while Babineaux should be a reliable force in the nickel package. Clayborn could have a game-changing impact on the defense with speed and explosiveness he showed during the preseasons. Folks wonder about the possibility of cutting the high-price Jackson, but that's not necessarily a move the Falcons need to make immediately.


Justin Durant

Paul Worrilow

Nate Stupar

Joplo Bartu

Allen Bradford

Worrilow appears to have elevated his game to another level in the new scheme, while Durant will be quite a force himself if he stays healthy. Bartu is backup insurance, while Bradford and Stupar bring value on special teams.


O’Brien Schofield

Kroy Biermann

Tyler Starr

Projecting starting strong-side linebacker Brooks Reed is destined to start the season on short-term injured reserve following groin surgery. That means Biermann would move into a starting role in the base defense, with Schofield counted upon to rush in the nickel package.

LEO (2)

Vic Beasley

Malliciah Goodman

Beasley, the rookie first-round draft pick, has a chance to be a dominant force immediately rushing from both sides, although teaming with Clayborn on the right side seems like a potent combination. Stansly Maponga doesn't make the cut.


William Moore

Ricardo Allen

Kemal Ishmael

Charles Godfrey

Moore is more intent on being a sure tackler, while the inexperienced Allen has to handle the spotlight of a starting role. Sean Baker killed his chances of making it with a special-teams blunder that led to a blocked punt in the final preseason game.


Desmond Trufant

Robert Alford

Jalen Collins

Kevin White

Phillip Adams

Trufant missed all the preseason games with a shoulder injury but contends he'll be ready for Week 1. Alford is talented but has to cut down on the penalties. And the rookie Collins might not be ready for prime-time just yet.


Matt Bryant

Matt Bosher

Josh Harris

Bryant, the reliable veteran, has to adjust to the long extra points, which shouldn't be a problem.