Atlanta Falcons secondary is still in need of veteran leadership

Damontae Kazee Kendall Sheffield Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Damontae Kazee Kendall Sheffield Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Heading into the 2020 season, the Atlanta Falcons secondary is still in need of a veteran player.

The 2020 Atlanta Falcons secondary has a lot of promise and upside with all the young talent that they have accumulated over the last couple of drafts. However, they are still in need of a savvy veteran that will provide on the field leadership and propel the younger players to the next level.

Going into the season, the Atlanta Falcons secondary, specifically the cornerback position, will have A.J. Terrell, a first-round rookie pick who hasn’t played a single snap, former second-round pick Isaiah Oliver, who’s struggled in his first two years in the NFL and Kendall Sheffield, a fourth-round pick from 2019 in the slot as the top three cornerbacks on the roster.

A few veteran cornerbacks are still available on the open market, including Logan Ryan, Darqueze Dennard, and Trumaine Johnson.

Any of these veterans would help bolster the Falcons secondary.

Atlanta Falcons will have the youngest secondary in the league

The Falcons will have the youngest starting three cornerbacks in the league and could use any of these veterans to help tutor the younger players. Desmond Trufant, who left in free agency, is no longer part of the picture.

Out of the three projected starters, Oliver is 23 years old, Terrell is 21, and Sheffield is 23. Currently, the oldest cornerback on the roster is Blidi Wreh-Wilson, who is 30 years old. This doesn’t exactly breed a ton of confidence having him as the top backup.

When the Falcons released Trufant, they obviously made a conscious decision to go with a younger group of cornerbacks. This group should continue to improve, especially after the way they played the second half of the 2019 season.

The hope is that Terrell will come in, start from day one, and ball out in his first season. The coaching staff and the fans are counting and relying on this.

A group of defensive backs in the Atlanta Falcons secondary have been working out together and practicing this offseason. In addition to Oliver, the group includes Damontae Kazee, Jordan Miller, and Chris Cooper.

Don’t count on Miller for the first three games of the 2020 season. He will be continuing to serve a four-game suspension that started at the end of the 2019 season.

Atlanta Falcons are set at Safety in 2020

At the safety position, the Falcons are set with Damontae Kazee, Ricardo Allen, and Keanu Neal returning. Kazee will be moving back to his natural safety position after playing some nickel corner in 2019. He is much more effective at the safety position.

Both Atlanta Falcons fans and the coaching staff are hopeful and looking forward to seeing Neal return to full strength after missing most of the last two seasons with injuries. Without Neal for most of 2019, Allen became the true leader and quarterback of the secondary calling plays, at the ripe age of 28.

There is plenty of youth and a little bit of rawness still in the Atlanta Falcons secondary. The entire group will continue to grow, learn, and improve.

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A veteran would be the final piece to the puzzle and will help push them over the edge in terms of productivity. Another voice on the field with experience and leadership is just what this group needs.