Mid-Season Falcons Grades – Defensive Backs


As the Falcons are on a bye this week, it seems like a good time to analyse how our Falcons have played so far this year. We will be going unit by unit on the team over the next week or so. Now is the turn of the Falcons Linebackers.

  • CB Brent Grimes (A+) – Grimes along with Weatherspoon has been the MVP of the Defense this year. His coverage skills have been elite, shutting down top receivers such as Calvin Johnson. The Falcons NEED to pay this man!
  • CB Dunta Robinson (C+) – Dunta is clearly not living up to his contract at this point. He has given up some big plays this year and not has not really shut down any receivers. His tackling in run support has been good, which saves his grade somewhat.
  • CB Kelvin Hayden (B) – Playing Nickel back most of this year, he has done OK considering he has played on the outside most of his career. Hayden has done a good job in coverage and his highlight reel play was the INT of Mike Vick in Week 2.
  • CB Chris Owens (C) – Same old story for Owens I’m afraid. He shows very little physicality in the run game, and his coverage skills have been less than stellar. I’m not sure how long the Falcons will keep a hold of him.
  • CB Dominique Franks (C) – Although he hasn’t had that much of an opportunity to play on Defense, I was hoping for more opportunities for him to return punts and kicks. As in preseason he looked explosive in both areas. Remember he came out as a junior and this is only his second season, without a full training camp. I’m excited about his potential, he could be a future starter for this team.
  • CB Darrin Walls (C+) – Another DB that has been inactive a few games this year. When he gets his opportunity, he has not made mistakes and has been a big success story for the Falcons as a Rookie UDFA.
  • FS Thomas DeCoud (B) – Although DeCoud leads the team in INTs with three, I have been disappointed by his coverage and positioning at times this season. Unfortunately, on some of the big passing plays the Falcons Defense conceded is down to DeCoud’s poor positioning.
  • S James Sanders (B) – Sanders has been a nice acquisition providing versatility at both Safety spots whilst being solid on special teams. His play has been that good, that he started ahead of Thomas Decoud, in one game this season.
  • SS William Moore (A-) – Moore continues to develop, into one of the better safeties in the NFL. He is terrific in run support, whilst developing as a better player in coverage. He has one INT and 31 tackles on the year.
  • SS Shann Shillinger (B) – Shillinger earns this grade for his play on special teams. He has been the one of the best, if not the best in that group.