NFL Atlanta Falcons

5 Atlanta Falcons Dark Horse Candidates to Make 53-Man Roster

Atlanta Falcons: 5 Dark Horse Candidates to Make 53-Man Roster

Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are just under two weeks away from kicking off training camp in Flowery Branch, Georgia. During camp, the Falcons will need to evaluate their team and determine who will make the final 53-man roster. Here is a look at five dark horse candidates who have a chance of earning a spot.

5. Geraldo Boldewijn, WR

Geraldo Boldewijn, Atlanta Falcons
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

5. Geraldo Boldewijn, WR

Geraldo Boldewijn, Atlanta Falcons
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons have two marquee receivers in Roddy White and Julio Jones. While talented, the pair struggled with injuries last season. The injury concerns surrounding White and Jones will likely result in Atlanta keeping more depth at the position. Rookie receiver Geraldo Boldewijn stands to benefit from this approach. The 6-foot-4, 220 pound wideout will get plenty of reps in camp to show that he deserves to make the team.

4. Gabe Carimi, OG/OT

Gabe Carimi, Atlanta Falcons
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4. Gabe Carimi, OG/OT

Gabe Carimi, Atlanta Falcons
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons' offensive line was awful last season. Atlanta responded during the offseason by addressing this unit through free agency and the draft. One player the Falcons signed to add depth to their line is Gabe Carimi. Carimi, a former first-round pick, can fill in at both guard and tackle. His familiarity with offensive line coach Mike Tice will also give him an edge in camp.

3. Bear Pascoe, TE

Bear Pascoe, Atlanta Falcons
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

3. Bear Pascoe, TE

Bear Pascoe, Atlanta Falcons
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons signed Bear Pascoe this offseason to add depth to the tight end position. Pascoe, a longtime New York Giant, is a strong run blocker who can occasionally make plays in the passing game. He is unlikely to earn the starting job, but he should be able to make the 53-man roster. His ability to play fullback will also improve his chances.

2. Yawin Smallwood, ILB

Yawin Smallwood, Atlanta Falcons
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

2. Yawin Smallwood, ILB

Yawin Smallwood, Atlanta Falcons
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons drafted inside linebacker Yawin Smallwood with the 253rd overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Smallwood is a tough, downhill style player who is strong against the run. The Falcons have two young studs in Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu holding down their inside linebacker spots, but Smallwood can still make the team as a special teams player.

1. Travian Robertson, NT

Travian Robertson, Atlanta Falcons
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

1. Travian Robertson, NT

Travian Robertson, Atlanta Falcons
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Travian Robertson is entering a make-or-break season with the Falcons. The third-year pro will have to prove during training camp that he can be a reliable rotation player along Atlanta's defensive line. One way Robertson can do this is by showing his versatility in playing both tackle and end in the Falcons' new hybrid scheme.

 

Kevin Major is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinMajor_Rant, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google