Jason Butt of the AJC provided us with several intriguing notes regarding the Falcons practice on Thursday, including a tidbit on one of the Falcons newest secondary members.
Jaylinn Hawkins was selected in the fourth-round of this year’s draft. He played safety at California, but Butt said he’s been spending time at cornerback early in training camp.
More Falcons notes:
Thought Isaiah Oliver had a good day. Nice PBU in coverage against Calvin Ridley.
Rookie Jaylinn Hawkins is seeing time at cornerback right now.
— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) August 20, 2020
With Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee, Ricardo Allen, and J.J. Wilcox in the fold, it’s unlikely Hawkins sees anytime at safety this season. He’ll probably provide some help on special teams, and for a fourth-round pick, that’s pretty good value for a rookie. However, they could be prepping him in case there is emergency, and several of their corners go down with injury. Even after the signing of Darqueze Dennard, the Falcons cornerback depth is a weak spot.
Regardless, it’s apparent Dan Quinn and the front office saw more in Hawkins than just an in the box safety like he played out Cal. They value his coverage skills, and perhaps they believe that — in time — they can mold Hawkins into a corner/safety hybrid type player. He did have ten interceptions in his college career, including six in one season as a Junior.