The Atlanta Falcons have a new fullback signing Keith Smith who was released by the Oakland Raiders according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2019
The Raiders cutting Smith came as a surprise to many. He did miss some time early during training camp which gave the team a longer look at Alex Ingold, who was an undrafted free agent who played his college ball with the Wisconsin Badgers.
Smith still played well during the preseason, even scoring a touchdown, but the team decided to go in a different direction.
This move makes a lot of sense for the Falcons because Dan Quinn likes using a fullback, and this is an upgrade over the team's current fullback Ricky Ortiz. The Falcons actually pursued Smith last offseason and only a year later they get him.
Smith only has three carries and 13 receptions in his five year NFL career, but he has consistently earned praise for his blocking skills.
He will be lined up in front of Devonta Freeman a lot this upcoming season and with the team hoping to run the ball more effectively this season, he should get plenty of playing time. Smith isn't a great protector of the quarterback, so on obvious passing downs, he probably won't be on the field.
The team hasn't officially announced a corresponding move, but it's safe to say it will probably be Ortiz that is the odd man out. Ortiz has some good talent, and he should latch onto a new team very soon.