What is the Atlanta Falcons plan at the safety position?
The Atlanta Falcons have made some quality moves this offseason to bolster their secondary. The signing of Casey Hayward to pair with A.J. Terrell was one of the most underrated signings of the offseason, as well as their decision to resign slot cornerback, Isaiah Oliver.
It gives the Falcons a solid trio of corners on their defense, but what is their plan for the rest of the secondary?
A look at who could start for the Falcons at safety
The Falcons’ safety position currently consists of Richie Grant, Jaylinn Hawkins, Teez Tabor, Erik Harris, and Luther Kirk.
To start, the Falcons are likely to only keep four safeties, thus it would be most likely that Luther Kirk, a former dual-threat quarterback in High School, will be the odd man out and a good choice for the practice squad.
Things can change quickly, however, as it depends on who the team selects in the draft, sign as undrafted free agents, as well as potential injuries that may happen.
Let’s get to who might start for the team. Last year’s starter Duron Harmon left the Falcons and became a member of the Las Vegas Raiders, so obviously he will not be starting for them.
Erik Harris was the other starter and the Falcons signed him to another one-year deal, but it is likely he was signed for depth as the team looks to get the younger players playing time.
This leaves Richie Grant, Jaylinn Hawkins, and Teez Tabor. Out of those three guys, only one of them plays strictly safety and that is Jaylinn Hawkins. Tabor came into the league as a corner, while Grant played primarily as the slot corner for the Falcons as a rookie.
Jaylinn Hawkins will be the likely starter, as well as Richie Grant. The team will want to evaluate what they have at the position for the future. Grant and Hawkins also have the best upside as they are young athletes.
The only other scenario is if the Falcons sign Tyrann Mathieu somehow, or Kyle Hamilton falls to them and they draft him. In those instances, they would be the presumptive starters at the position.