Gerod Holliman was cut by the Steelers when the rosters were trimmed down to the final 53. The safety out of Louisville had terrific ball skills coming out of college, but question marks surrounding his physicality caused him to fall to a 7th-round pick in the draft. The Falcons certainly have their fair share of question marks at safety. Ricardo Allen is penciled as the current starting free safety, but he has yet to play a down in an NFL regular season game and was cut by the Falcons last year. Allen has had a great off season, but it will not mean anything if he cannot preform on Sundays. If Allen does struggle, options are thin at safety for Atlanta. Holliman may have not been able to make it on the Steelers, but the Falcons should take a look at him now that he is on the market.
Holliman backed up Calvin Pryor before he was drafted in the first-round by the Jets. When Holliman took over as the starter in 2014, he racked up the allocades. Holliman was a first-team All-American and won the the Thorpe Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top defensive back. He is a true ball hawk, as he led the FBS in interceptions with 14 in 2014. Some were surprised when he declared for the NFL Draft with two years left of eligibility, but there were also scouts that compared the safety to the great Ed Reed.
All the hype around Holliman led his declaration for the draft, but he soon found out not everybody was impressed with him. Several scouts said he could not tackle and was not athletic enough to play in the NFL. Mike Tomlin was quoted saying, “He’s got room for improvement, but none of these prospects are finished products.He does have a distinguishing characteristic and that is his ability to anticipate and find angles to the ball and to finish those plays. That is something that you can build his game around. We are excited about that. But he does have room for growth and development,” in regard to Holliman. There is no doubt Holliman has impressed everyone with his ball skills, but no player can overcome an inability to tackle in the NFL.
Holliman is a cut rookie, so he will cost virtually nothing to sign him or claim him off waivers for Atlanta. After his draft stock plummeted, Holliman came in with a chip on his shoulder to become a better player. He has a chance to prove himself with other teams, and the Falcons should be the first to take a waiver on him. They have nothing to lose.