2024 Atlanta Falcons Potential Draft Pick Profile: S Javon Bullard

Could the Falcons keep Javon Bullard in Georgia to be a complementary safety to Jessie Bates?
UT Martin v Georgia
UT Martin v Georgia / Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

The Atlanta Falcons need more depth at safety at a minimum and a home-grown prospect in Javon Bullard could pique their interest if he's available for them in the draft. Bullard is a great fit for their strong safety role and plays very similarly to Nick Collins from the old Green Bay days. The Falcons could use him on special teams early in his career as well and would love to have someone of his caliber as depth should he lose the job to the incumbents of Richie Grant or DeMarcco Hellams.

Javon Bullard

University of Georgia

Safety


Athletic Comparison and Numbers

Javon Bullard has more than enough athleticism to be a fantastic safety in the NFL—especially considering he compares favorably to Budda Baker, the long-time safety for the Arizona Cardinals. Baker could end up being the best comparison for what Bullard ends up as when he's playing in the NFL. Bullard's athleticism is top-tier for a safety and compares favorably even when comparing him to cornerbacks on the speed side of things. Size-wise, he could stand to gain 5-10 pounds to be stronger, but for the most part, he's right where he needs to be.


Stats and Awards

2023: 12 Games Played, 56 Tackles, 1.0 Tackle for Loss, 2 Interceptions, 5 Pass Deflections, Second-Team All-SEC
2022: 14 Games Played, 46 Tackles, 7.0 Tackles for Loss, 3.5 Sacks, 2 Interceptions, 3 Pass Deflections, National Championship Defensive MVP
2021: 14 Games Played, 12 Tackles


Highlight Reel


Scouting Report

Strengths

Javon Bullard might be one of the smartest and most instinctual safeties in the draft's last three seasons. He understands how to place himself into the right spot on the field more times than not. He's able to adjust to the routes around him and breaks towards the ball. He is a fantastic run defender with no weaknesses in that aspect of his game. Bullard takes great angles to the ball and is a sure tackler. As one of the more versatile defenders in the draft, Bullard can play free safety, strong safety nickel or even a dime linebacker spot if his NFL team will need him to.

Weaknesses

When watching Bullard's film, his abilities as a deep third safety are somewhat questionable. He would be better off in cover 2 and cover 4 looks where he isn't responsible for such a large area. It's not a speed thing but rather a how he has a lack of acceleration in and out of covering his breaks. His hips are tight, and that's a big reason as to why he isn't able to cover those deep thirds and why he struggles when in man coverage against slot receivers.


Intangibles & Off-Field Red Flags

The leader of the Georgia Bulldogs defense has had some issues off the field with underaged drinking and driving under the influence. He only missed one game due to a suspension from all of this, but that's not something a leader should be doing. One thing the Falcons believe is that it's not what happens when someone screws up, it's how they make up for it. Bullard hasn't had an incident since and has shown that he's a true leader on defense.

NFL Stylistic Comparison: Nick Collins

Much like Javon Bullard, Nick Collins wasn't much of a true deep safety, but was fantastic covering the middle of the field during his time in the NFL. He was also a fantastic tackler who always was around the ball and was a true last line of defense. Collins was the captain of the Packers defense, and that's the kind of role that Bullard could wind up in long-term if they so choose to have him in that role. Bullard becoming the next Collins would absolutely be worth a second-round pick.


How does he fit in with the Atlanta Falcons

If the Falcons want to bring in Javon Bullard, they'll potentially have to take him with the high-second round pick that they have or potentially the high-third round pick. Bullard would compete with the Falcons current safety group of DeMarcco Hellams and Richie Grant for the starting role at strong safety. He'd also compete for a role as a gunner on special teams to get playing time as a rookie if he doesn't win the job as a starting safety for the Falcons.

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.