2024 Atlanta Falcons Potential Draft Pick Profile: S Calen Bullock

Calen Bullock has all the tools to be a dominating ballhawk in the NFL.
UCLA v USC
UCLA v USC / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Falcons could use a potential upgrade at strong safety, and at minimum, they could use someone to compete with DeMarcco Hellams for the starting role like Calen Bullock out of Southern California. Bullock is a fantastic ballhawk who would fit in perfectly next to Jessie Bates and A.J. Terrell as a potential long-term option. He'd instantly upgrade the coverage of the spot, but he needs to get better at tackling and hitting his run fits properly.

Calen Bullock

University of Southern California

Safety


Athletic Comparison and Numbers

As an athlete, Calen Bullock compares best to more cornerback prospects than safety prospects. He needs to add some more seat in the pants and gain some muscle on his frame. He's plenty fast for a safety and is easily in the top tier there, especially with instincts that help him play faster. However, if he doesn't get stronger, he's going to have the same kinds of troubles that he had in college. He may need some time in an NFL strength room before he's ready for more than special teams.


Stats and Awards

2022: 12 Games Played, 63 Tackles, 2 Interceptions,7 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown, First-team All-Pac 12
2022: 14 Games Played, 48 Tackles, 5 Interceptions, 5 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown, First-team All-Pac 12
2021: 12 Games Played, 40 Tackles, 2 Interceptions, 3 Pass Deflections, Freshman All-American


Highlight Reel


Scouting Report

Strengths

Calen Bullock might be the rangiest safety in the draft and understands how to use his body to position in between the receiver and the ball. He loves to crash down and hit receivers going over the middle. His long arms are a massive advantage when knocking balls loose. He has a nose for the ball and is a traditional ball-hawking safety. In man or zone, he's highly effective and is fantastic playing in coverage. Bullock covers like he might have converted from cornerback. He has loose hips and tends to keep his pad level low in his backpedals. With fantastic football intelligence and instincts, he will jump routes and create turnovers that other safeties just won't.

Weaknesses

At the same time, there are times when a good quarterback will take advantage of Bullock's aggression, and opposing coordinators will use double moves to get him out of the play. Bullock has issues with recognition of pass versus run at times hurting him more versus the run than the pass. He needs to take better angles to the ball and has to become a much better tackler than he is. His strength is apparent when trying to be the first man to the ball, and he normally needs additional help to bring down guys—a trait that's not useful when the last line of defense.


Intangibles & Off-Field Red Flags

The Trojan safety has shown that he will fight to try and take guys down in his tackles, but he needs to put some work in to get stronger. That shouldn't be an issue in the NFL with how they have built in training and nutrition programs, but adding weight to his frame is important. Teams will have someone who's a fantastic communicator in coverage and is extremely willing to play special teams to earn his place on the roster and field.

NFL Stylistic Comparison: Reshad Jones

If Calen Bullock can build his strength and get better against the run, Reshad Jones is a perfect comparison for his ceiling. Jones was a ball-hawking free safety but had more strength and size in his frame. The former Bulldog made his money in the pros as the leader of the Dolphins defense. Bullock could end up being a true star at the position like Jones was if he improves on his weaknesses and gets put into the right role to emphasize his strengths.


How does he fit in with the Atlanta Falcons

If the Atlanta Falcons want to bring in Calen Bullock, they'll likely have to take him in the third or even fourth round of the draft. Bullock would likely start out as a special teams player early in his career backing up both safety spots and maybe even coming in for some three safety sets. The Falcons would likely have him compete with Richie Grant and DeMarcco Hellams for the starting strong safety spot as he gets bigger and develops into the guy he needs to be.

All advanced stats are courtesy Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders. All traditional stats are courtesy of official team websites, NFLGSIS or CFB Stats. All RAS and athletic testing numbers are courtesy of DraftScout.com and Kent Lee Platte's RAS Football website.