Atlanta Falcons Draft Spotlight: FS Damarious Randall
Nov 28, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back Damarious Randall (3) reacts prior to the game against the Arizona Wildcats during the 88th annual territorial cup at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
We’re a little over three weeks away from the start of the 2015 NFL Draft, where we will finally learn which prospects will be selected by the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons need a rangy, center-fielder to develop at the free safety position for Dan Quinn’s defense.
The team has a multitude of needs– a #1 edge rusher, a three-down ILB, and a starting left guard.
But the team also needs depth and developmental prospects at several key positions.
Perhaps chief among them is the need for a rangy, center-fielder at the free safety position.
The Falcons re-signed Charles Godfrey this offseason, with the apparent intent of him handling the starting duties in 2015. They also have 2014 third-round draft choice Dezmen Southward, who showed promise in reserve duty last season.
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Neither choice inspires much confidence. Godfrey didn’t play any meaningful snaps for the Falcons last season after being cut by the Carolina Panthers.
Before he suffered a season-ending injury in 2013, Godfrey was a capable and rangy FS. Since the injury, however, he hasn’t looked much like his old self and he’s already 29 years old.
Southward, on the other hand, showcased some of his insane athleticism last season and looked good in limited action. However, he’s still quite raw in many aspects of his game and there has been speculation that he may be transitioning into more of a hybrid S/CB role. In an article by the Falcons Jay Adams, Quinn said the following of Southward:
"“I love the speed and the length, so we’re going to try that versatility. Is he a safety? Is he a corner? We went back to look at his Senior Bowl tape where he also played corner so, I love the speed, I love the length and he’s an interesting guy for us moving forward to see what unique stuff does he have and then try to put him in the best spot to work his skills.”"
If Godfrey is more of a temporary stop-gap and Southward may be changing positions, what is the Falcons long-term plan at FS? The answer is the draft, where there are several intriguing mid-round prospects that could develop into the starter the Falcons need.
One of those prospects is the athletic and tough Damarious Randall from Arizona State.
Next: What can Randall bring to the Falcons?