When Thomas Dimitroff met with the Falcons media yesterday, he said something that rings very true in today’s pass-happy NFL, “You can never have enough corners,” which should tell you all you need to know about the Falcons draft strategy.
Currently, Atlanta has five players on their roster that can play cornerback — Isaiah Oliver, Kendall Sheffield, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Jordan Miller, and Damontae Kazee. Although, Kazee has looked much more comfortable at safety than corner. Dimitroff said the team has a couple of young options that he feels are heading in the right direction. Those are presumably Oliver and Sheffield. However, they can’t be all the team is relying on in a division that is loaded with offensive firepower. Atlanta needs to add multiple bodies to this group if they want to have any chance of returning to the playoffs, and this could be a case where they spend their first two picks on the position — as they did back in 2013, drafting Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.
Ideally, I’d like the Falcons to add a veteran that could contribute along with a high draft pick, but that may not be possible following the signing of Todd Gurley. Atlanta has less than $2 million in cap space, so unless they restructure some contracts, their additions will have to be made through the draft.
A week ago, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report went through what he’s hearing from all 32 teams leading up to the draft. To the surprise of nobody, the Falcons are focused on the cornerback position, with C.J Henderson and Kristian Fulton likely being the best options available when they select. However, Thomas Dimitroff maintains his belief that the team will draft the best player available rather than focusing on need.
That’s all fine and dandy to say, but the reality is the Falcons are desperate for cornerback help. They have to take one in the first two rounds, and they should double down at the position if they cannot add a reliable body in free agency. Atlanta’s pass rush will be improved after the addition of Dante Fowler. However, it’s not nearly good enough to make up for the cornerback group the team is currently touting. The Falcons have plenty of needs heading into this month’s draft, but Dimitroff is right — you can never have enough corners — and right now, they severely lack quality bodies at the position.