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Falcons named free agent suitable for experienced CB

The Falcons came into the NFL Draft with obvious holes on the defensive side of the ball – the first and third levels needed to be strengthened.

Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris overhauled one of their own, spending four draft picks on three defensive linemen. The Falcons traded a third-rounder to move up in the second to land Ruke Orhorhoro, then spent a third-rounder on Bralen Trice and a fourth-rounder on Brandon Dorlus.

As for the secondary room, especially the corner room, Atlanta has not addressed that at all. It is currently a noticeable gap in the selection. AJ Terrell’s running mates aren’t clear and obvious at this point in the offseason.

The Falcons have Clark Phillips, Dee Alford, Mike Hughes, Kevin King and Antonio Hamilton to fill the boundary and slot positions. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know how the team goes into Week 1 with that group.

ESPN sees it the same way, naming the Falcons a free agent suit for veteran cornerback Steven Nelson.

Best team fit: Atlanta Falcons

Last season in Houston, Nelson had a career high with four interceptions and also had seven pass breakups. At his best when he can look inside to read the quarterback, he fits into coach Raheem Morris’ scheme, which is typically more zone-heavy. In 2023, the Rams’ Morris unit played zone coverage on 60.1% of opponent dropbacks, majoring in split-safety zone and Cover 3. This is a good spot for Nelson, and it would give the Falcons more veteran competition give the camp.

Fortunately, Atlanta needs a position that offers plenty of answers on the open market. Steven Nelson, Stephon Gilmore, Adoree Jackson and Xavien Howard are still free agents and three of them would immediately become the Falcons’ second-best cornerbacks.

It seems like a no-brainer to me, but I’m not writing the checks or making the decisions, so we’ll see.

Photographer: Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sports