The Atlanta Falcons have focused on fixing the offensive line during this entire offseason. By trading up to select offensive tackle Kaleb Mcgary, the team sacrificed a third round pick that could have been used to add depth to the defense. That move currently leaves the team dangerously thin at the cornerback position.
The Atlanta Falcons have very little experienced depth at the cornerback position. The club parted ways with five-year starter Robert Alford and Brian Poole, who has manned the nickel back position for three seasons. The argument can certainly made that the subtraction of Alford from the roster, is an addition for the Falcons. He had the worse year of his NFL career as a starter.
According to Pro Football Focus, Robert Alford allowed 960 yards and seven touchdowns last season. The yards allowed total was the second highest of his career. Incredibly Alford allowed 1000 yards receiving in 2016. The seven touchdowns allowed were also the second highest of Robert’s career, with the highest being nine touchdowns given up in 2016. The 68.9 reception percentage that Alford allowed, was a career worse, as was the 138.9 quarterback rating against. Add in the fact that Alford was flagged for 12 penalties, yet did not intercept a pass and it’s easy to justify the end of his tenure as a Falcon.
Brian Poole had a down season as well, but was more of a salary cap casualty as the team decided not to tender him a qualifying offer. He had a career low PFF coverage grade of 60.5 this past season. Where Poole will be missed, is as a blitzer. He has used great timing on the cornerback blitz, to rack up five sacks in three seasons.