FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons traded up to the 111th pick in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and selected former Ohio State defensive back Kendall Sheffield. Sheffield will add immediate depth to the Falcons' secondary, and he possess rare speed and athleticism at the position.
WHY HE FITS
The Falcons defense, for a lot of different reasons, had trouble stopping anyone in 2018. For some perspective, the Falcons dropped from 12th in passing yards allowed per game (214.3) in 2017 to 27th in the league with an average of 259.6 yards surrounded. Atlanta was also 28th in the league last season when it came to total yards allowed per game with 384.5. Sheffield, who is 6-feet, 193 pounds, is quite simply one of the fastest players in this year's draft. He will bolster the team's depth in the short term while he continues to develop and hone his incredible athleticism.
Sheffield is a burner. He only had two years of playing experience at Ohio State, so he is still fairly raw as a prospect, but the natural traits are obvious for him. To highlight just how fast Sheffield is, he broke an Ohio State record with a 6.6-second 60-yard dash in 2018. Technically, there is still some development that needs to occur with Sheffield, but he should have a bit of time to continue to grow as a player. His speed alone should make Sheffield an asset on special teams and a player to watch moving forward.
- Grade: C-
- Comment: "Sheffield has 'Ohio State speed,' but he's a small corner who's not very natural mirroring receivers down the field. Too early for him, even if he fills a need in Atlanta."
Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report
- Grade: C+
- Comment: "Sheffield is a top track athlete (he set the Ohio State record in the 60 meters last year) who transferred from Alabama (by way of Blinn College) and started 17 games over two years for the Buckeyes. He has the long speed to stay with any receiver and looks the part of a top press cornerback, but opposing quarterbacks aren't afraid to challenge him because he doesn't track deep balls or play his receiver well and doesn't work to position himself to take away the passing window. Sheffield's a developmental speed-size guy. He's not a bad value in this round, but from a big-picture standpoint, he may be a little too little, a little too late."