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Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart Preview: Defensive Tackle

In the modern NFL it's impressive to see an entire depth chart populated with original draft picks. This is the case for the Atlanta Falcons' defensive tackle position- all five players were one time draft picks, and all of them come from the last five drafts. This is something the front office can be proud of, because it means the scouting and system is working.

Nobody will confuse Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters with Suh and Fairley, but they're serviceable starting DTs. This is a defense that works the pass rush through the ends, so the onus on elite, pass-rushing tackles is removed. To this end Babineaux and Peters will undoubtably reprise their roles as starters, and will likely remain in those roles for the at least 2012 while Peria Jerry continues to develop.

The depth chart gets interesting at the 3rd and 4th spots with Peria Jerry and Vane Walker- both players looked pretty good in limited time in 2011, but neither separated themselves. For the sake of development Jerry will likely be the first off the bench, but don't be surprise if he splits a lot of snaps with Walker. This isn't a scenario with a true no.3 and 4.

The projected five defensive tackles are rounded out by rookie 7th round pick Travian Robertson. He was a solid pickup for the Falcons based on where they got him, and he'll offer good depth out of the gate. I think his talent is far better than his draft position dictates, and could be a pleasant surprise for the 2012 Falcons.

Projected Depth Chart

LDT: Jonathan Babineaux/ Peria Jerry/ Travian Robertson

RDT: Corey Peters/ Vance Walker

As mentioned earlier: They're not a group that will blow you away, but they're not supposed to be. If these players can remain healthy it will open up the pass rush for Abraham and Edwards. That's going to be the key for the defense in 2012- just allow the pass rush enough time to make an impact. If the Falcons can couple that with their stellar secondary they're in excellent shape.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.