With John Abraham and Ray Edwards returning, there is no doubt about their roles as the Falcons’ starting defensive ends. There is a better chance of a competition developing at defensive tackle, where Corey Peters, who was sidelined by a foot injury during minicamp, and Jonathan Babineaux have the edge to keep their starting jobs over Peria Jerry, Vance Walker and rookie Travian Robertson.
If any serious battles do emerge on the Falcons’ D-line, they are most likely to come as backups compete for positioning on the depth chart.
The Falcons are going to need at least a few backups to play a significant role in their D-line rotation. They have been waiting for homegrown talent like DE Lawrence Sidbury to break through as an edge rusher and push for more playing time, something he has failed to do so far. As he enters the final year of his rookie deal, time is running out for Sidbury (five sacks in 38 career games spanning three seasons) to show significant improvement. This season likely will be his last chance to unseat Kroy Biermann as the primary backup at defensive end.