Jalen Mayfield Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons News

Falcons Make Several Cuts, Including former 3rd-Rounder

The Atlanta Falcons got ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to trim the roster to 53 players. They announced on Saturday they cut four players including 2021 third-round pick Jalen Mayfield.

Also included in the cuts were cornerback Bless Austin and defensive linemen Delontae Scott and Justin Ellis.

Mayfield was the biggest name of the players released on Saturday. He was part of general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith’s first draft class in 2021.

He started just 14 games coming out of Michigan. Atlanta drafted him to provide competition for Kaleb McGary at right tackle. Because of salary cap constraints and lack of other options, the Falcons threw Mayfield into the deep end at left guard as a rookie.

Mayfield started 15 games as a rookie in 2021. Pro Football Focus graded Mayfield as the worst pass-blocking offensive lineman in the NFL that year. He got off to a rough start in 2022 before being shelved for the entire season with an injury.

While he looked lighter on his feet during training camp this year, he still struggled mightily during preseason games.

Still just 23-yeas old, another team could still find value in Mayfield and sign him. The Falcons may try and bring him back to the practice squad following full roster cuts on Tuesday.

The Falcons signed Bless Austin shortly after Jeff Okudah’s injury. He started 16 games for the New York Jets in 2019 and 2020, but he started just once since then (with the Seahawks in 2021).

Delontae Scott signed shortly after Austin (August 16th) and was All-XFL in the spring.

The Falcons signed Justin Ellis after Eddie Goldman re-retired. In prior years the 6-2 and 350 pounder may have been a starter for the depleted Falcons. However, the Falcons defensive line is considerably deeper than it’s been the last two seasons.

The Atlanta Falcons have until Tuesday afternoon to make 33 more cuts. The 90-man roster must be 53 by that deadline. Teams will then work to fill their 16-man practice squad once players clear waivers.

Mayfield could return to the Falcons, but it had become painfully obvious that he still wasn’t ready to play in the NFL. At 23-years old, he still has time to mature into an NFL lineman, but it isn’t going to be on the Falcons’ active roster.

Scott Kennedy
Scott Kennedy is an Atlanta native and 20 year media veteran including time as Director of Scouting at Scout.com, Managing Editor at 247Sports, VP Content Operations at Sports Illustrated and more. Scott has appeared as a recruiting and NFL Draft analyst on dozens of media including ESPN, NFL Network, USA Today, NY Times, and more.