Expectations: Safety Thomas DeCoud


Part One: DT Vance Walker
Part Two: LB Robert James
Part Three: DE Lawrence Sidbury

I wanted to see exactly which current or former NFL player Falcons’ draftees have been compared to. Using the data from CBS Sports, I took a look at the 26 draft picks the Falcons have made in the Dimitroff-Smith era and reviewed their NFL comparison according to the experts at CBS.

Hit the jump to read who is dissected in part four of our series.

Today’s Expectation Breakdown: S Thomas DeCoud

After appearing in only 10 games as a rookie, DeCoud came into his own in year two and started all 16 games for the Falcons at free safety. He had two sacks, three interceptions and seven pass defenses. Throw in 57 tackles and you have a potential star on your hands.

NFL Comparison (when drafted): Reggie Nelson

From CBS: Nelson is much quicker than DeCoud, but both have exceptional leaping ability and timing to block kicks. DeCoud flashes good closing speed and is aggressive in run support. He is not much of a playmaker, having deflected just seven passes and intercepted one in 45 games, but he is a solid contact hitter who rarely misses when he gets into position to make the tackle.

What It Means

Nelson was a good comparison for DeCoud when he came out of college, but I think DeCoud has already surpassed Nelson as a player. I look for DeCoud to continue to improve and solidify a Falcons’ secondary that should be the most improved of any team in the league.

What do you think? Is DeCoud the future at free safety? Is a Pro Bowl berth in his future? Let me know in the comments or start the conversation on Twitter.

Other Thomas DeCoud News from the Falcons Nation:

AJC’s The Bird Cage: Thomas DeCoud Primed for the Pro Bowl

The Falcoholic: Thomas DeCoud and the Falcon Pro Bowl Conundrum

D. Orlando Ledbetter: Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 7 — Safeties

Tags: Atlanta Falcons Reggie Nelson Thomas DeCoud