After covering the safeties, we talk about the second part of the secondary and undoubtedly the most important. However, unlike the Falcons safety unit, this may be the thinnest position group on the roster. If you missed any of our breakdowns on the offense or defense, click the links below.
- Interior Defensive Line
- Tight Ends
- Offensive Line
- Wide Receivers
- Running Backs
This starting group is not set in stone, and it may not be until late in the preseason, especially with a shortened offseason. It’s also possible that they add a veteran contributor before the start of the season, which I almost view as a must with the way the roster looks today. However, as of now, three names stand above the rest.
Isaiah Oliver has suffered his fair share of warts, but once Raheem Morris took over the secondary last year, things began to turn around, and he has the inside track to being the team’s #1 corner this season. That’s not exactly inspiring, but the coaches feel like he is fully capable of taking over for Desmond Trufant.
Across from him should stand first-round pick, A.J. Terrell. When Atlanta selected him with the 16th overall pick, it received mixed reviews. Some believed it was a substantial reach for a need, while others think he is a plug and play starter from day one. Missing a lot of the offseason because of COVID-19 won’t do him any favors, but the Falcons don’t have much choice but to start him.
As the nickel corner, Kendall Sheffield should be the starter, providing there are no other additions before the season. Dan Quinn said this offseason that he believes Sheffield has the talent to be a #1 corner someday. That might be the case, but with his smaller frame — compared to Oliver and Terrell — and his speed, he fits better manning the inside.
This is where things begin to look really sad. The Falcons did bring back Blidi Wreh-Wilson this offseason on a one-year deal. He performed well at the end of last season when called upon and serves as quality depth in case of an injury. After that, however, the Falcons are in trouble.
Jordan Miller was a 2019 sixth-round selection. He proved last season he wasn’t ready, which is why he barely saw the field, and since this offseason could be severely shortened because of the coronavirus, it’s going to be difficult for him to make the improvements necessary for him to be reliable. Atlanta added C.J. Revis to their practice squad late last year. He was an undrafted free agent in 2018 that joined the Jacksonville Jaguars, appearing in four games but was cut before the 2019 season. Usually, Reavis might be a long shot to make a roster, but the Falcons are in a bit of a desperate situation, giving him as good of a chance as anybody.
This offseason, Atlanta also signed Josh Hawkins from the XFL, who has a decent bit of NFL experience as well. He spent his first two seasons with the Packers, playing in 26 games, including three starts. In 2018, Hawkins played for both the Panthers and Eagles, appearing in six games total before joining the XFL.
Lastly, the Falcons added three undrafted free agents — Rojersterman Farris II, Delrick Abrams, and Tyler Hall. Hopefully, one of these can prove themselves worthy enough to make the roster. However, the Falcons have enough cap space to bring in another free agent, and cornerback is unquestionably their most glaring hole, as it has been the entire offseason.