From the Branch


Training Camp Preview: Who's Got Safety Spots?

Posted Jul 27, 2016

In the final installment of our position breakdown series, we look at a very young safety group that has high expectations at the top of the depth chart

After shifting Ricardo Allen to a new position and drafting Keanu Neal in April, the Falcons seem to have their starting safety tandem in place. What remains undetermined is who will back them up.

Players competing for that spot are a fairly young group, one loaded with familiar faces, including Kemal Ishmael, Robenson Therezie, Damian Parms, Brian Poole and Sharrod Neasman.

Ishmael spent the last couple of years filling in when needed, earning snaps because of his hard-hitting nature and overall work ethic. The highlight of his NFL career came last season against Jacksonville when he ran an interception 84 yards just before halftime, preventing the Jaguars from cashing in on an important red zone opportunity.

Therezie was a pleasant surprise in 2015, going from college free agent to the hero of Atlanta’s Week 7 win over Tennessee. In addition to intercepting Zach Mettenberger in the waning moments of that contest, he finished with 33 tackles and two pass deflections in 13 games.

After spending XFINITY® Training Camp at Flowery Branch last summer, Parms returns with another chance to make the team. At 6-foot-2, he’s among the tallest defensive backs out there.

Poole could have a similar experience during his rookie year. A teammate of Neal’s at Florida, he has the versatility needed to shift from corner, where he played a lot at UF, to safety. With a high football IQ and a knack for breaking up passes, he could turn a lot of heads during camp.

Another CFA addition from the Sunshine State, Neasman, joins Atlanta after becoming Florida Atlantic’s Student-Athlete of the Year in 2015. He finished his senior season with 41 tackles, seven pass breakups and three interceptions.

Who is most likely to win a spot at safety?
Sharrod Neasman
Damian Parms
Brian Poole
Kemal Ishmael
Robenson Therezie