One of the best stories of the 2023 season for the Falcons is Dee Alford and his journey to the NFL.
He cut his teeth in DII at Tusculum but made his professional debut in Canada with the Blue Bombers. Alford went on to help Winnipeg win the 2021 Grey Cup, which he used as a spring board to make the transition to the NFL.
He signed a reserve/future deal with the Falcons in January 2022. Against the Saints in the season opener last year, Alford got his first taste of the league, recording a pair of tackles. Later on, he’d make a play that really showed he belonged. Against the Browns in Week 4, Jacoby Brissett was attempting to drive Cleveland down the field to score a touchdown for a win or set up a game-tying field goal.
Around midfield on third-and-long, Brissett threw it Dee Alford’s way, and the Tusculum product iced the game with the first interception of his Falcons career.
The 2022 campaign didn’t go how the Falcons, Dean Pees, or Alford probably wanted, but the 2023 offseason brought plenty of optimism.
Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith bolstered the defense, adding talent at all three levels. Jessie Bates, David Onyemata, Kaden Elliss, and Calais Campbell headlined the free agent class, but there were others.
Jeff Okudah was acquired via trade, Mike Hughes signed a two-year deal, and Clark Phillips joined the Falcons after being drafted in the fourth round. Dee Alford was brought back, but there was much stiffer competition in 2023 than last offseason.
However, it was Alford that continued making plays in training camp and the preseason, earning the nod as the starting nickel defender. All he’s done is continue to compete and impress.
The Falcons corner is beginning to gain national attention, earning honors for the best defensive back by Good Morning Football’s Jason McCourty on NFL Network.
The Belt ✨@JasonMcCourty presents the Top DBs through Week 5
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) October 10, 2023
I’m glad to see Dee Alford get some acknowledgement on the national stage. The Falcons found a gem of a football player, and it looks like he should be able to carve out a nice little NFL career.