Five Falcons who helped themselves in the exhibition finale

8/30/18 - Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons Miami Dolphins in an NFL preseason game on Thursday, August 30, in Atlanta. Jenna Eason /

Credit: Jenna Eason

Credit: Jenna Eason

8/30/18 - Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons Miami Dolphins in an NFL preseason game on Thursday, August 30, in Atlanta. Jenna Eason /

Here are five players who helped themselves in the 34-7 loss to the Dolphins on Thursday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Falcons have until 4 p.m. Saturday to cut the roster from 91 to 53: 

1. Running back Malik Williams. He ran with authority and scored on a 8-yard touchdown run. He also had a 16-yard gain on a screen pass and dazzled with a hurdle over a defender. He rushed seven times for 20 yards and had two catches for 35 yards.

“He was one of the players who provided us with some energy,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He jumped a guy. I thought he had another physical run. That’s the big back that we were hoping to see coming out of Louisville. We saw him lower his shoulder and make yards after contact. That was encouraging tonight for us to see that.”

He left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return.

» Also: 5 Falcons who hurt themselves in exhibition finale

2. Linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee. The undrafted rookie from Rice was all over the field early. He hit with power and knew where he was supposed to be.

“We really felt that he made a jump over the last 10 days or so,” Quinn said. “He had a good week of practice last week and another good one this week in preparation. There are some of those plateaus that you hit as a rookie and then there is wall and you’ve got to go right through it. He certainly did that this well.”

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3. Linebacker Emmanuel Smith. The undrafted linebacker from Vanderbilt had a nice hit on Miami wide receiver Isaiah Ford that led to an interception by cornerback Chris Lammons.

“On the (special) teams side of things, those two guys (Emmanuel Ellerbee and Emmanuel Smith) showed the speed that we are looking for,” Quinn said.

4. Punter David Marvin.  He did a nice job punting for Matt Bosher. He had 10 punts for 445 yards (44.5 yards per punt). He had a long of 58 yards and placed one punt inside the opponents' 20 yard line.

“What a big hit that was (on his last 58-yard punt),” Quinn said. “We knew he had a strong kickoff leg, so we were hoping to get him so exposure doing that as well. That’s a part of his game that came through loud and clear for us.”

5. Linebacker Jonathan Celestin. He had six tackles and played inside, next to the kicker on special teams. He's been clocked at 4.7 in the 40-yard dash, and the Falcons were concerned whether he was fast enough to play on special teams. On the opening kickoff, he made the tackle.