Quality depth on offensive line a concern with Falcons' first 53-man roster

Here's a player-by-player look at the Atlanta Falcons' 53-man roster:


Matt Ryan: He has all the tools of an elite quarterback and the leadership qualities you want at the position. Ryan needs to be protected better in order to thrive.

Sean Renfree: The young, inexperienced Renfree needs to develop after an inconsistent preseason. He would be in a tough spot as the starter if something were to happen to Ryan.


Devonta Freeman: Second-year player can be a playmaker and dangerous threat as a receiver out of the backfield. He needs to stay healthy and continue to work on his blocking.

Tevin Coleman: The rookie gave fans a glimpse of his big-play potential in the preseason finale. He can be a home-run threat on any touch with his explosive speed, but he could work on his pass-catching.

Terron Ward: This undrafted rookie surprise made fan favorite Antone Smith expendable. The coaches were impressed with Ward's attention to detail from the start.

Patrick DiMarco: The fullback retained his starting role after competing with Collin Mooney in preseason. DiMarco showed versatility in catching the ball out of the backfield.


Julio Jones: He is arguably the most dangerous and dynamic receiver in the league with his combination of speed, power and size. Jones just needs to avoid injury.

Roddy White: The aging veteran can still be an asset with his knack for using his body to make the tough catches. He knows his body has to hold up with a nagging left knee issue and recent elbow scope.

Leonard Hankerson: The newcomer showed the ability to catch the ball well and run fluid routes from the moment he joined the team. He just needs to develop more chemistry with Ryan.

Justin Hardy: The rookie showed flashes of his great potential throughout the preseason, but he has to be more consistent after a few noticeable drops. He also has electric return potential.

Devin Hester: The most accomplished return man in NFL history still has some juice left in his legs to make plays on offense. His role might be minimal, but those touches could be explosive.

Eric Weems: His primary role will be as a veteran leader on special teams. Weems plays with the type of toughness the team needs.

Nick Williams: The surprise roster addition plays with grit and is extremely competitive. Plus, he showed the ability to return kicks.


Jacob Tamme: He's a great pass-catcher who gives the team another threat in the red zone, but he needs to work on his blocking.

Levine Toilolo: A big target who showed improvement catching the ball from last season, he still needs to play big, at 6-foot-8.


Jake Matthews: The left tackle has all the tools and technique to be a great one. He just needs to stay healthy and get a little stronger.

Ryan Schraeder: A tough guy who has developed into a solid player at right tackle, he can struggle against speedy edge rushers at times.

Joe Hawley: He's the toughest player on the line and athletic enough to thrive as run-blocker from center spot. Hawley is a little undersized in pass protection and needs to shake off knee issues.

Andy Levitre: The newcomer via trade has experience, with 96 starts in 96 games. He has to come in and play big at left guard.

Chris Chester: The veteran stepped right into the right guard spot after surpassing Jon Asamoah. Chester is a solid overall player but can be overpowered at times due to his smaller size.

Mike Person: Showed the versatility to play both guard and center throughout the preseason but probably not good enough for a starting role. He can run-block well.

Tyler Polumbus: He's another new addition who played both right and left tackle this preseason. He struggles miserably in pass protection.

James Stone: The former undrafted starter was overpowered in the most important preseason game at Miami and essentially lost starting role at left guard. He could be better at center.

Bryce Harris: Claimed off waivers from the Saints, he has the potential to compete for the swing tackle spot behind Matthews and Schraeder.


Tyson Jackson: He slimmed down to play a big defensive end role in the new attacking defense and looks much better than last season. Jackson has to play with power on every down, with snaps limited.

Paul Soliai: He also dropped weight, cutting 25 pounds to be a better fit in the scheme. He can still be an impact nose tackle in limited reps.

Adrian Clayborn: He could be the veteran newcomer to watch with his speed and quickness as a versatile pass-rusher. Clayborn just needs to remain healthy.

Ra'Shede Hageman: The second-year player has the potential to make an impact from the interior, particularly against the run. He has to keep maturing.

Jonathan Babineaux: The savvy veteran still brings so much to the table in terms of leadership and pass-rush ability. He should be a disruptive force in pass-rush situations.

Grady Jarrett: The rookie will challenge for playing time immediately with his high motor and relentless effort. He showed great potential in the final preseason game.

Malliciah Goodman: He still needs to find his place but has the size and length to be a solid contributor. He seems to still be bothered by a lingering knee injury.


Vic Beasley: The rookie pass-rusher will be an explosive, impact player in his LEO hybrid linebacker/defensive end role. His combination of speed, quickness and athleticism is devastating.

Brooks Reed: The projected starting strongside linebacker has been banged up since coming over from the Houston Texans in the offseason. He faces six weeks of recovery from groin surgery.

Kroy Biermann: He brings toughness to the team and should fill a starting role in the base defense as Reed recovers from surgery. Biermann needs to set the edge better.

O'Brien Schofield: He brings a relentless effort, toughness and speed off the edge as a nickel pass-rusher. Knee issues are the only thing holding him back.

Paul Worrilow: He has the potential to be an outstanding middle linebacker with his intelligence and instincts. He's showed the ability to cover and display range in the defensive new scheme.

Justin Durant: The starting weakside linebacker is a true playmaker and vocal leader. He just needs to stay healthy after being nagged by injuries his entire career.

Joplo Bartu: The former undrafted starter gives the team depth at a key position, although Bartu's special-teams ability is limited.

Allen Bradford: The former Seahawk has the potential to be a special-teams standout with the toughness and energy he plays with. He has a certain edge to him.

Nate Stupar: He's another player who brings some value on special teams, but he needs to play more physical.


Desmond Trufant: He has the potential to be a perennial Pro Bowler with his all-around skills and solid technique. Only concern here might be a preseason shoulder injury

Robert Alford: He's the type of player you'd want to take into a fight with you with his scrappy style. He just needs to be more sound with technique and avoid penalties.

Phillip Adams: The very solid free-agent acquisition can be the third or fourth corner in certain packages. He just has to play within himself.

Jalen Collins: The rookie has struggled from the beginning but has the size and length to thrive in this defense. If he emerges, it could kick Alford inside as a nickelback.

Dez Southward: Former third-round draft pick saved his job in the final preseason game with physical play. Has the size and speed to develop, but needs to play the ball better.


William Moore: The veteran strong safety is a tone-setter with his physical style but is starting to play with better tackling technique. He needs to remain healthy off shoulder and calf issues.

Ricardo Allen: The surprising young player made the transition from cornerback to free safety. He's not spectacular but showed the ability to come down and make the sure tackle. Needs to be consistent.

Kemal Ishmael: Ishmael is a very solid backup at strong safety and one of the best tacklers on the team. He's an asset on the roster.

Charles Godfrey: The veteran didn't have a great offseason but still offers some experience. He has to play a role on special teams.

Robenson Therezie: The undrafted rookie made some plays throughout the preseason to make the roster, even despite a late injury.


Matt Bryant: Bryant is a veteran kicker who is one of the most reliable guys around. He made an NFL-best seven kicks from 50-plus yards last season.

Matt Bosher: He's a solid punter who has averaged 40.3 net yards on 265 career punts. He dropped 27 punts inside the 20 last season.

Josh Harris: He just does his job well as the team's long-snapper.