A look at the Falcons’ post-free agency depth chart

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons’ depth chart has undergone a seismic makeover in free agency.

In addition to landing the big fish – quarterback Kirk Cousins – general manager Terry Fontenot reshaped the wide receiver and tight end positions.

He also retained some depth along the offensive and defensive lines, in offensive tackle Storm Norton and defensive tackle Kentavius Street.

The Falcons signed wide receivers Darnell Mooney and Ray-Ray McCloud and traded quarterback Desmond Ridder for wide receiver Rondale Moore. They also re-signed KhaDarel Hodge.

Mack Hollins signed with Buffalo. Van Jefferson joined former coach Arthur Smith in Pittsburgh. Scotty Miller and Cordarrelle Patterson were not re-signed. Patterson issued a good-bye to Atlanta on social media.

At tight end, the Falcons essentially flipped pass-catching tight end Jonnu Smith for blocking tight end Charlie Woerner.

On defense, they re-signed linebacker Nate Landman.

Woerner, a Super 11 pick by the AJC in 2015 out of Rabun County, was elated to return home.

“I felt like my entire life, I’d never left the state of Georgia until I went to the 49ers,” Woerner said. “To be back and connected with everybody is so cool.”

Woerner, after a solid career at Georgia, was taken in the sixth round (190th overall) in the 2020 draft. He turned into an important part of the 49ers’ vaunted rushing attack as he played in 65 games and made seven starts. He was targeted only 15 times and made 11 catches.

Blocking is important, and the Falcons recognized that by giving him a three-year, $12 million contract. Smith signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Dolphins.

“First of all, we’re just excited to be back to play for the Falcons a team that I grew up (rooting) for,” Woerner said. “To be back closer to family. I’ve got six siblings. A lot of, so many friends and family who live in the area. Me and my wife, we live in Athens in the offseason already. I’m just so excited to be able to go to a birthday party.”

Woerner, 26, plans to get in more family quality time.

“It’s just like, everyone’s got kids and life,” Woerner said. “So, we’re super humbled to have families come to these games. We’ll figure out all that (the tickets) at a later date. But just to be able to have family come consistently to games is going to be really cool.”

Woerner is looking forward to his role in the offense. Tight end Kyle Pitts can presumably pick up some of Smith’s 50 catches, 582 yards and three touchdowns.

“(The Falcons) are changing now to more of a Rams’ style offense with it’s all underneath kind of the (Kyle) Shanahan tree,” Woerner said. “So, it’s not going to be quite like what I came from with the 49ers, but it’s going to be similar. So, I think I’ll definitely I find a role and contribute to help this team in a good way.”

Woerner credited Georgia coach Kirby Smart with giving him the foundational tools to help him succeed in the NFL. He noted that he played with three or four first-round running backs.

“We were going to run the ball,” Woerner said. “If you want to contribute, you’ve got to learn to do A, B, and C in the run game. So, I was like, hey, I want to do it. I can help the team win.”

He just had to learn how to block correctly.

“I always had the will and the want to do it,” Woerner said.

Overall, the Falcons have replaced three starters on offense who competed in the final regular-season game in Ridder, Jefferson and Smith. On defense, three starters in the final game no longer are on the roster in defensive end Calais Campbell, outside linebacker Bud Dupree and defensive tackle Albert Huggins.

Here’s what the Falcons’ revised depth chart looks like after the early part of free agency. A total of 15 of 22 (68.2%) the projected starters were acquired through the draft:


QB – Kirk Cousins, Taylor Heinicke

RB – Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, Avery Williams, Carlos Washington Jr.

FB – Tucker Fisk, Robert Burns

WR – Drake London, Josh Ali, Austin Mack

Slot WR – Rondale Moore, Ray-Ray McCloud

TE – Kyle Pitts, Charlie Woerner, John FitzPatrick

LT – Jake Matthews, Tyler Vrabel, Barry Wesley

LG – Matthew Bergeron, Justin Shaffer, John Leglue

C – Drew Dalman, Ryan Neuzil, Jovaughn Gwyn

RG – Chris Lindstrom, Kyle Hinton

RT – Kaleb McGary, Storm Norton, Ryan Swoboda

WR – Darnell Mooney, KhaDarel Hodge, Chris Blair

DEFENSE 3-4 alignment

DE – Zach Harrison, Kentavius Street, Demone Harris

NT – David Onyemata, LaCale London, Tommy Togiai

DT – Grady Jarrett, Kentavius Street, Ta’Quon Graham, Willington Previlon

LOLB – Arnold Ebiketie, Ade Ogundeji, Ikenna Enechukwu,

LILB – Kaden Elliss, Donavan Mutin, Milo Eifler

RILB – Troy Andersen, Nate Landman

ROLB – Lorenzo Carter, DeAngelo Malone

CB – A.J. Terrell

Nickel CB – Mike Hughes, Dee Alford

FS – Jessie Bates III, Micah Abernathy, Tre Tarpley III

SS – DeMarcco Hellams, Richie Grant, Lukas Denis

CB – Clark Phillips III, Natrone Brooks


K – Younghoe Koo

P/H – Bradley Pinion

LS – Liam McCullough

PR – Ray-Ray McCloud or Avery Williams

KOR – Ray-Ray McCloud or Avery Williams

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