2. Signing Casey Hayward
Finding a corner to pair with A.J. Terrell was one of Atlanta’s top priorities of the off-season. Landing Hayward on a two-year deal was one of the few noteworthy moves the team has made. Hayward with Terrell will give the Atlanta defense a true chance of taking a step forward and showing growth in year two under Dean Pees.
Terrell enjoyed one of the best seasons any corner has had in recent memory. He remains underrated due to just how poorly the defense around him played. This makes his performance all the more impressive when you consider how little help the corner had around him. Hayward changes that and gives the young corner a veteran to learn from and lean on as the Atlanta defense continues to rebuild.
The next move for Atlanta is to find a pass rush to support this secondary and give the team a chance of making the quarterback uncomfortable. Signing Lorenzo Carter will help but it is unlikely to be the last move Atlanta makes at the edge position. Drafting an edge rusher or interior lineman within the first three rounds is a reasonable expectation for a team looking to improve in the trenches.