The Atlanta Falcons have announced their 2013 roster as well as their practice squad. There still may be tweaks to the roster but right now this is the team that will hit the field against the New Orleans Saints in game one. Let's take a look at the five players that I'm most surprised made the roster.
OL Ryan Schraeder, Terren Jones- the fact that two UDFAs are making the Falcons roster should concern you. The fact that they are both tackles, should scare you. Right now our two starting tackles are Sam Baker and Lamar Holmes. After that, it's Schraeder and Jones. Yikes! By all accounts, Schraeder had a great pre-season but this is the NFL and these guys played for Valdosta State and Alabama State last year. They were both long shots to make the team and they both did. Hopefully they will have long, prosperous careers for the Falcons.
CB Dominique Franks- Franks was a fifth round pick for the Falcons in 2010 and has stuck since then although never really showing that much upside. Franks was very up and down this fall in pre-season. He's most likely on the roster because he knows the defense and is an insurance policy since the Falcons are going with two rookie CBs on the roster.
RB Josh Vaughan- Vaughan was a UDFA out of Richmond way back in 2009 and has bounced around the league since then as a member of Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Carolina, Indianapolis and Buffalo. He's only seen action in 2010-2011 and has a career 10 runs for 31 yards and 1 TD. Vaughan led the Falcons in rushing this pre-season with 124 yards on 12 carries for a 10.3 ypc average with 1 TD. His addition to the roster was a surprise because that leaves the Falcons with five RBs on the roster (six if you count FB Bradie Ewing).
S Shann Schillinger- When the Falcons drafted both Zeke Motta and Kemal Ishmael this year many thought it was the writing on the wall for Schillinger, who was injured last season. With the Falcons cutting LB Robert James, there was a need for Schillinger on special teams and that's likely why he made the team as well as it's nice to have a veteran back-up for DeCoud/Moore.