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State of the Falcons: Defensive Tackles

When we left off, we finished up our offensive look at the 2013 Falcons as compared to the 2012 squad. We went through the RBs, QBs, WR/TE and offensive line. The biggest jump in talent is at the RB position with the addition of Steven Jackson and the biggest concern is on the OL with the departure of Tyson Clabo and Todd McClure. Now let's start our defensive look by focusing on the defensive tackle position.

The Falcons currently have seven DTs listed on their roster with the most notable absence from the 2012 squad being Vance Walker. In 2012, Walker played in 16 games (starting eight) and had 21 tackles and three sacks. His three sacks were the second most from the DT spot, behind Jonathan Babineaux's 3.5 and his 21 tackles also placed him second behind Babineaux.

The loss of Walker will hurt but it's not crippling. Babineaux remains our best DT and he bounced back from a disappointing 2011 although he is getting up there in years. The Falcons will need Corey Peters to step back up to his 2011 production. He only played in ten games last season as he missed the first six games of the season with an injury and never really seemed to hit his stride although he did have a sack in the playoffs (all three of the Falcons post-season sacks came from the DT position as Peters, Walker and Babineaux all had one).

Behind Peters and Babineaux, the Falcons are still waiting for Peria Jerry to live up to his potential. Last year Jerry posted a career high of only eleven tackles but did have five tackles in two playoff games. If he wants to stay on the roster, he needs to provide a lot more to the team and he could potentially be on the chopping block during camp. With Walker gone, Travian Robertson will get a long look as a second-stringer. He only played in five games last year but should see his role expand this season. The other guys on the roster right now are Neal Huynh (UDFA), Micanor Regis (second year out of Miami) and Adam Replogle (UDFA). This is a spot that the Falcons could potentially add a veteran after the first set of cuts in fall camp or after Tyson Clabo's money clears the books (see also: Seymour, Richard).

As of right now, this position is slightly worse than it was last year due to the exit of Vance Walker but I think some type of move will be made before the first game is played unless somebody lights the world on fire during camp. The wildcard here could be Replogle.

About Kevin Causey

dry humorist, craft beer enthusiast, occasionally unbiased SEC fan, UGA alumni, contributor for The Student Section, This Given Sunday and Crossover Chronicles

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