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Falcons Depth Chart For Saints Game Has Robert McClain Starting At Nickel, Lamar Holmes At Right Tackle

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A couple of mild surprises await Falcons fans as we head into the Week 1 skirmish between the Falcons and Saints.

The Falcons have released their 53 man depth chart ahead of the September 7th New Orleans Saints game, and it contains only a couple of surprises. One of them is fairly significant, however.

That surprise would be Josh Wilson listed as the starting nickel back. Observers around the team reported again and again that Robert McClain seemed to have sewn up the job, and you can bet McClain will still see significant snaps going forward. Still, it would appear that for at least one game, Wilson will be the first guy out on the field in nickel sets. We'll hope for a big rebound season from the man Steven Jackson destroyed just a year ago.

Joplo Bartu over Prince Shembo is the other move that may raise a few eyebrows. Last year's other UDFA sensation, Bartu had a fairly quiet camp and preseason, with many (including me) predicting that Prince Shembo would overtake him. Shembo may still do so at some point this offseason and he's in line for real snaps, but Bartu retains the starting gig next to Paul Worrilow at the moment. Good for him.

While Lamar Holmes at right tackle isn't a true surprise, it's one of those moves that I wanted to see official before I truly believed it. Building off a reasonably strong offseason, Holmes gets the nod and has the opportunity to prove he belongs as the starter for many years to come. I sincerely hope he dominates.

Devonta Freeman remains the fourth back on the depth chart, a move that I suspect has everything to do with his struggles in pass protection thus far. He'll climb the depth chart steadily this year, assuming he picks up that skill in short order.

Also, it's worth noting that Javier Arenas is currently listed as the direct backup to Alford and Trufant, and the third guy on the nickel chart. He'll be plenty busy, more than likely.

It's worth noting that Jay Adams believes Sean Renfree and T.J. Yates are "knotted up" for the backup gig, though if one had to play, that would likely end pretty quickly.

The full depth chart follows. Keep in mind that it won't necessarily be completely accurate, as the Saints' depth chart currently doesn't have a center listed. Shenanigans abound this time of year.

Offense

WR Roddy White Harry Douglas Eric Weems

LT Jake Matthews Ryan Schraeder

LG Justin Blalock James Stone

C Joe Hawley Peter Konz

RG Jon Asamoah Gabe Carimi

RT Lamar Holmes Gabe Carimi

TE Levine Toilolo Bear Pascoe

WR Julio Jones Devin Hester Courtney Roby

QB Matt Ryan  T.J. Yates Sean Renfree

RB Steven Jackson Jacquizz Rodgers Antone Smith Devonta Freeman

FB Patrick DiMarco

Defense/Special Teams

DE Kroy Biermann  Osi Umenyiora  Stansly Maponga

DT Tyson Jackson Ra'Shede Hageman  Cliff Matthews

DT Paul Soliai  Corey Peters

DE Jonathan Babineaux  Jonathan Massaquoi Malliciah Goodman Tyler Starr

LB Paul Worrilow  Nate Stupar

LB Joplo Bartu  Prince Shembo

CB Robert Alford  Javier Arenas

CB Josh Wilson  Robert McClain Javier Arenas

S William Moore Kemal Ishmael

S Dwight Lowery Dezmen Southward

CB Desmond Trufant Javier Arenas

K Matt Bryant

P Matt Bosher

LS Josh Harris

Your thoughts on this depth chart?

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