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Replacing Coleman could come on draft day


Tevin Coleman inking with the San Francisco 49ers leaves the Falcons running back room a bit slim.

Two-time Pro Bowler Devonta Freeman is the main attraction of the bunch as he has garnered many of the carries since his breakout year of 2015.

In a running-back-by-committee system for the Falcons, Freeman will have to share touches with the others.

Who will be the second workhorse?

The question will get its definite answer at the kickoff of the 2019 season.

Outside of Freeman, the Falcons have five running backs on the depth chart to date:

  • Ito Smith
  • Brian Hill
  • Jeremy Langford
  • Ricky Ortiz
  • Kenjon Barner

Smith, a fourth round pick in the 2018 draft from Southern Miss, performed well as a rookie. He rushed for 315 yards on 90 carries, finding the end zone four times.

As the third option in the rotation, Smith thrived. He could assume the No. 2 spot, depending on how he has improved in training camp and preseason.

Hill and Ortiz could be released before the season begins. Langford is quite a known player as the Falcons picked him up after a stint with the Chicago Bears.

Barner will be used primarily as a kick returner.

Draft day could be where the Falcons thicken the running back group, as they will have nine draft picks to play around with.

  • Round 1: No. 14 overall
  • Round 2: No. 45
  • Round 3: No. 79
  • Round 4: No. 117, No. 137 (compensatory pick)
  • Round 5: No. 152, No. 172 (compensatory pick)
  • Round 6: No. 186
  • Round 7: No. 230

The four compensatory picks came as a result of losing Adrian Clayborn, Andre Roberts, Taylor Gabriel and Dontari Poe to free agency.

On day two or three, the Falcons could bolster the position.

Damien Harris, David Montgomery, Devin Singletary and many others are expected to be on the board. Josh Jacobs is projected to go in round one.

A pick that could make sense would be drafting either Benny Snell of Kentucky or Oklahoma’s Rodney Anderson.

Both resemble Coleman’s game which is a freight train runner with next level speed after passing the third level of a defense.

Luckily, there will not be a scarcity of backs in this draft as this is one of the deepest in years.

The Falcons have to replace what Coleman provided and the best bet is to select one in April.

Photo courtesy of upi.com

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