Two undrafted players helping to lead elite Falcons defense

Neither Dee Alford nor Nate Landman heard their name called in the NFL draft, but that hasn't stopped them from being key pieces for a vastly improved Atlanta Falcons defense
Washington Commanders v Atlanta Falcons
Washington Commanders v Atlanta Falcons / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

Terry Fontenot has found two gems on the defensive side of the ball. Both joined the Atlanta Falcons during the 2022 offseason and in their second year, they are proving to be two of the best at their positions.

Nate Landman and Dee Alford have been underrated stars for the Falcons and without them, the Falcons would not be where they are.

Atlanta Falcons found two gems in LB Nate Landman and CB Dee Alford

The defense for the Atlanta Falcons has made a remarkable turnaround thanks to defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen. It has been the driving force of this team and without them, they would not be leading the division.

We all know that Nielsen is the driver for this unit but not enough credit has gone to slot cornerback Dee Alford and linebacker Nate Landman.

Landman was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado last year while Dee Alford was signed out of the Canadian Football League. Those are two places where you do not expect to find two star players.

Alford has had to fight his way to where he is now. Mike Hughes and Clark Phillips III were predicted to be two contributors in the slot. Instead, Alford showed that he deserves all the snaps and is now one of the best players at his position.

Meanwhile, Landman had to fight to make the final roster. No one expected that he would play very much this year but due to an unfortunate injury with Troy Andersen, Landman has filled in and legitimately established himself as one of the best linebackers in the NFL.

Without these two guys, the Falcons would be in trouble. Following the Andersen injury, it was unsure what the defense would look like since they were missing a playmaker in the middle of the defense. And in the slot, no one was wanting to see Mike Hughes play most snaps and rookie Clark Phillips is clearly not ready to play quite yet.


It is fortunate that Terry Fontenot found these two players and that both of them have stepped up. They are truly two of the most underrated players in the NFL this year.

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