The Atlanta Falcons have had a relatively quiet offseason so far. The big waves of free agency and the NFL Draft have come and gone with the Falcons addressing a couple of their needs.
When the offseason began, the Falcons were in need of help along the offensive and defensive line. Therefore, Atlanta decided to bring back Adrian Clayborn at the defensive end spot. Of course, Clayborn spent three seasons with the Falcons from 2015-2017.
Last season, Clayborn spent the year with the New England Patriots and wound up with some jewelry to show for it. Now, he is making his way back to the Falcons to hopefully improve the pass rush with Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley.
As for the offensive line help, the Falcons attacked their issues head-on in the NFL Draft. The Falcons ended up with the 14th and 31st overall picks in this year’s draft. They would use those picks on Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary.
Protecting Matt Ryan is a priority and Atlanta knows that their window with Ryan is closing rapidly. Besides those needs, the Falcons still have a glaring need on their defense.
On paper, Atlanta seems thin at their cornerback position. So who is someone they could sign in free agency at this point of the offseason? Surprisingly, Morris Claiborne finds himself without a team before training camps begin.
Claiborne should absolutely be on the Falcons radar if they’re in the market for a cornerback. As it currently stands, Atlanta will be rolling out Desmond Trufant, Isaiah Oliver, and Kendall Sheffield at their cornerback spots.
Earlier this offseason, the Falcons parted ways with Robert Alford after he spent six seasons with the organization. Since then, the Falcons have done little to fill the void left by Alford but have rather decided to stay in-house to replace him.
Again, Atlanta currently is planning on allowing Oliver to get the nod on the opposite side of Trufant. Oliver is heading into his second season in the NFL after starting in just two games in 2018.
Sheffield is a rookie but could be tasked with a larger role than expected with the lack of depth for the Falcons. All in all, Oliver and Sheffield have a combined two starts in the NFL.
Cornerback is one of the toughest positions to play in the NFL and lack of experience at the position can come back to bite you. Therefore, targeting a free agent like Claiborne could be a wise move for Atlanta.
Over the last two seasons, Claiborne has been with the New York Jets. This comes after he spent five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. With the Jets, Claiborne played a large role in their defense.
Claiborne started in 30 games with New York while snatching three interceptions and getting 100 total tackles. He also was able to deflect 22 passes through the air.
The Falcons could use another veteran alongside Trufant to beef up their secondary. Last season, Atlanta struggled to slow down opposing offense’s aerial attack—allowing the sixth-most yards in the NFL.
The cornerback market in free agency was thin which is why it’s even more surprising that Claiborne still remains unsigned. There are a few teams who could use a veteran cornerback like Claiborne and the Falcons are one of them.