Friday night’s game vs. Miami was coach Mike Smith’s last chance to evaluate his Falcons players against another opponent before Monday’s mandatory roster cuts. At 4 p.m. ET, the Falcons will be down to 75 players and just a week away from finalizing their roster at 53.
The Falcons got their first win of the preseason -- a 23-6 victory over the winless Dolphins -- and also seemed to weed out a few more players who likely won’t make the team. The following is RapidReports best guess as to who will make the Falcons’ regular-season roster.
Stock rising: DE Lawrence Sidbury. Sidbury wasn’t in danger of getting cut by Atlanta but he continued his outstanding preseason with three tackles, including a sack Friday night against the Dolphins. The fourth-year player also forced a fumble in the win over Miami. The former fourth-round pick is beginning to live up to his potential.
Stock falling: QB John Parker Wilson. Wilson has seen his passing attempts decrease every preseason game from eight to two to none on Friday night vs. Miami. He won’t likely be cut by Monday and should be given one more chance to showcase his ability Thursday night vs. Jacksonville when the starters won’t see significant time.
QB -- In: (3) Matt Ryan, Chris Redman, Dominique Davis. Out: John Parker Wilson. Analysis: As Parker Wilson has plummeted in the Falcons' depth chart, it seems that Dominique Davis has soared. The undrafted rookie free agent is in the hunt for the Falcons backup job and is in direct competition with veteran Chris Redman. Friday night Davis threw a 39-yard touchdown strike to wideout Tim Toone.
RB -- In: (4) Michael Turner, Jason Snelling, Mike Cox, Jacquizz Rodgers. Out: Dmitri Nanc, Richard Medlin, Antone Smith. Analysis: Smith has played with the team for the past two years but could be the odd-man out, following three productive exhibition games. Rodgers made a strong case for his inclusion with a 40-yard kickoff return against Miami.
WR -- In: (5) Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, Kerry Meier, Drew Davis. Out: Kevin Cone, Marcus Jackson, Kenny Stafford, Tim Toone. Analysis: The Falcons look like they’ll carry five wideouts entering the 2012 regular season. Kenny Stafford was released on Saturday but the Falcons may have a difficult time cutting Toone, who scored a 39-yard touchdown on Friday night and has had a productive preseason on special teams.
TE -- In: (2) Tony Gonzalez, Michael Palmer Out: Lamark Brown , Tommy Gallarda, Aron White, Chase Coffman. Analysis: The Falcons waived Coffman on Saturday following a disappointing showing on Friday night. He finished with no catches and was targeted only once. They also cut White. Of the remaining tight ends, Gallarda, a four-year player at Boise State, would have the best chance of making the team.
OL -- In: (9) Sam Baker, Justin Blalock, Todd McClure, Garrett Reynolds, Tyson Clabo, Joe Hawley, Peter Konz, Lamar Holmes, Mike Johnson Out: Phillipkeith Manley, Tyler Horn, Bryce Harris, Andrew Jackson. Analysis: When backup LT Will Svitek injured his upper right arm earlier this week and was pronounced out for the season, it opened up a roster spot for Johnson. As coach Mike Smith said, “One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity.” Svitek was placed on injured reserve.
DL -- In: (10) John Abraham, Peria Jerry, Johnathan Babineaux, Ray Edwards, Lawrence Sidbury, Vance Walker, Corey Peters, Kroy Bierrmann, Johnathan Massaquoi, Travian Roberston. Out: Cliff Matthews, Micanor Regis, Louis Nzegwu, Elisha Joseph , Conrad Obi. Analysis: The Falcons waived Nzegwu and reached an injury settlement with DT Joseph. The final DL spot will come down to either Regis or Robertson. Both have performed well in exhibition games but the nod goes to the Falcons seventh-round pick Robertson, who had two passes deflected against the Bengals.
LB -- In: (6) Sean Weatherspoon, Akeem Dent, Mike Peterson, Stephen Nicholas, Spencer Adkins, Robert James. Out: Rico Council, Pat Schiller, Jarrell Harris , Max Gruder. Analysis: Atlanta waived Gruder on Saturday and seem comfortable with their options after Dent performed well in his first game back from a concussion. Dent and Weatherspoon had three tackles apiece on Friday.
CB -- In: (11) Dunta Robinson, Asante Samuel, Brent Grimes, William Moore, Thomas DeCoud, Chris Hope, Shann Sillinger , Dominique Franks, Chris Owens, Charles Mitchell, Robert McClain Out: Peyton Thompson, Marty Markett, Suaesi Tuimaunei. Analysis: Mitchell, the team’s sixth-round pick, should stick in the Falcons secondary. He had two tackles Friday night and Atlanta’s coaches have been pleased with his productivity this preseason. Mitchell is currently the backup free safety as Sillinger missed Friday's game with a foot injury. The Falcons reached an injury settlement with CB Darrin Walls on Saturday.
Special teams -- In (3) Matt Bryant, Joe Zelenka, Matt Bosher. Out: Erik Folk, Josh Harris. Analysis: Harris will be fighting to make the team as veteran Zelenka’s backup long snapper. Atlanta waived backup kicker Folk on Saturday.
For more Falcons coverage, follow Mike Singer @CBSSportsNFLATL.