Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive backs

112113 ATLANTA: Desmond Trufant takes the field to play the Saints during the first half of their NFL "Thursday Night Football" game on Nov. 21, 2013, in Atlanta. CURTIS COMPTON /staff CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

112113 ATLANTA: Desmond Trufant takes the field to play the Saints during the first half of their NFL “Thursday Night Football” game on Nov. 21, 2013, in Atlanta. CURTIS COMPTON /staff CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — In addition to filling the right cornerback spot during Jalen Collins’ four-game suspension, the Falcons must find some depth at nickel and outside.

The Falcons must find out if Akeem King, a converted safety and seventh-round pick in 2015, is ready for action.

Robert Alford could actually start at right cornerback in the base until Collins is ready. Then slide inside in the nickel while King comes in at right cornerback.

The Falcons, who looked at veterans cornerbacks Leon Hall and Brandon Boykin over the offseason, must decide if King is a viable option.

King, who played in five games as a reserve, had one tackle and one pass breakup over 15 snaps last season, had a strong offseason.

“He’s now starting to come into his own,” secondary/senior assistant coach Marquand Manuel said.

The most intriguing prospect in the cornerback group is C.J. Goodwin, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound converted wide receiver and former college basketball player.

“He’s competing,” Manuel said. “He’s doing an awesome job competing. He’s a natural attack-the-ball defender because of basketball.”

Goodwin, of Wheeling, W.Va., played basketball at Bethany College for two seasons. He went on to play football at Fairmont State and California (Pa.) before he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I compare him a lot to the corner from Miami of Ohio that Green Bay drafted (Quinten Rollins),” Manuel said. “He’s a former basketball player who can come out here and actually play football. …I’m really excited to see what he ends up being. I’m encouraged.”

The Falcons used the 17th overall pick in the draft to select strong safety Keanu Neal. He’s slated to replace William Moore at strong safety.

Left cornerback Desmond Trufant, who started right away as a rookie in the NFL, has been impressed with Neal.

“He can move with the best of them,” Trufant said. “That’s what I was really impressed with. He just has to continue to grow mentally and things like that, but he’s looking good.”

THE DEFENSIVE BACKS

Cornerbacks — Akeem King, DeMarcus Van Dyke, C.J. Goodwin, Devonte Johnson, Jalen Collins, Robert Alford, Desmond Trufant, David Mims II and Jordan Sefon.

Safeties — Ricardo Allen, Robenson Therezie, Sharrod Neaseman, Brian Poole, Keanu Neal, Charles Godfrey, Kemal Ishmael and Damian Parms.


90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS — POSITION BY POSITION

OFFENSE

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Quarterbacks

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Running backs

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Wide receivers

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Tight ends

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Offensive line

DEFENSE

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive line

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Linebackers

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Specialists

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Shanahan thinks offense will change thrive with cut in turnovers

Matt Ryan’s film session with AJC columnist Jeff Schultz

Alex Mack, Falcons looks good for one another

PROJECT PASS RUSH

Dan Quinn pressing all buttons to create a pass rush

How does drafting Keanu Neal help the pass rush?

DL line coach Bryan Cox: Hageman needs to improve his play

LB coach Jeff Ulbrich: ‘Cream will rise’ at linebacker for Falcons

Defensive coordinator Richard Smith pleased with early progress of the defense

Falcons still have a spot for DT Jonathan Babineaux

Dwight Freeney 95 percent certain that he will play in 2016

Falcons working 80 percent of time on pass rush

Weatherspoon on Freeney: ‘He still has it’

FALCONS’ OFFSEASON SPOTLIGHTS

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: OG Wes Schweizter, sixth round pick

Falcons offseason spotlight: LB De’Vondre Campbell, fourth round pick

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: TE Austin Hooper, third round pick

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: LB Deion Jones, second round pick

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: SS Keanu Neal, first round pick

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: DE/SLB Vic Beasley

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: DT Grady Jarrett

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: FS Robenson Therezie

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: CB Jalen Collins

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: RB Tevin Coleman

Falcons’ offseason spotlight: WR Justin Hardy

Reader Comments 0

0 comments