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Cornerbacks the Falcons could target throughout 2024 NFL Draft 

The Falcons need to find cornerback A.J. Terrell a consistent running mate. 

DISCLAIMER: The statements and opinions regarding players and/or potential future players in the article below are those of the editorial staff and are not of the Atlanta Falcons' football personnel unless noted in a direct quote.

Leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft, the Falcons editorial staff will breakdown which prospects Atlanta could take each day of the draft according to position. Up next, cornerbacks.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons drafted cornerback A.J. Terrell in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He has started 61 of a possible 67 games. Issue is, no one else rostered has numbers that rival those at his position. What's more, Terrell has seen multiple running mates opposite him every single year.

A possible long-term solution -- especially if Terrell signs a contract extension -- is exactly a week away in the 2024 NFL Draft.

"We will add some more people to that (secondary) room, some young pieces, but what I've seen on tape, I've been excited," Falcons head coach Raheem Morris said last month at the Annual League Meeting. "I know it's an area of need for us so to speak, but those guys played pretty well last year when you go back and look at the tape."

There are plenty of rookie cornerback prospects the Falcons can scope. Below is a day-by-day breakdown.

Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean (3) gets set for a play during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 33-23. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Day 1

Terrion Arnold, Alabama

Terrion Arnold redshirted his freshman year at Alabama in 2021 but then truly made the most of his opportunities the next two seasons. He missed only two games in 2022, making 45 tackles, nine pass breakups and an interception. He then never missed a game and increased his stats in 2023, totaling 63 tackles, 17 pass breakups and five interceptions. The latter two numbers led the SEC.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranked Arnold as the No. 1 cornerback, while PFF had him at No. 4.

Cooper DeJean, Iowa

Cooper DeJean could be a double threat in the secondary and special teams. He won the Big Ten's Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year and Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year awards before declaring for the pros. Sticking solely to defense here, though, DeJean had his strongest season in 2022 when he made 75 tackles, 13 pass breakups and five interceptions – three of which were returned for touchdowns – in 13 starts. In 2023, he missed four games but still totaled 41 tackles, seven pass breakups and two interceptions.

Brugler ranked Arnold as the No. 4 cornerback, while PFF had him at No. 1.

Pick(s): No. 8 (first round)

Other Day 1 options: Quinyon Mitchell (Toledo), Nate Wiggins (Clemson), Kool-Aid McKinstry (Alabama)

FILE - Michigan wide receiver Mike Sainristil rushes to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. Sainristil will lead the top-ranked Wolverines into their New Year's Day matchup with Alabama in the Rose Bowl. (AP Photo/Tony Ding_File)

Day 2

Mike Sainristil, Michigan

Mike Sainristil began his collegiate career as a wide receiver for three seasons and then transitioned to cornerback for his final two. In 2022, Sainristil started 11 of his 14 game appearances and totaled 58 tackles, eight pass breakups and an interception. In 2023, Sainristil started all 15 games, making 44 tackles, 12 pass breakups and six interceptions. The latter two were both team-high marks. Two of his picks were returned for an interception, too. Sainristill also managed two sacks in each of his defensive runs.

Brugler ranked Sainristil as the No. 6 cornerback, while PFF had him at No. 7.

Pick(s): No. 43 (second round), No. 74 (third round), No. 79 (third round)

Other Day 2 options: Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (Missouri), T.J. Tampa (Iowa State), Kamari Lassiter (Georgia), Max Melton (Rutgers)

Florida State defensive back Renardo Green (8) lines up before the first half of an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2022, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Day 3

Renardo Green, Florida State

Renardo Green had a five-year collegiate career, three of which were spent at cornerback and two at safety. He began as a cornerback, moved to safety for two years and then switched back to cornerback. Returning to his home base was the right idea. In 2022, Green started 12 of his 13 games, making 58 tackles and five pass breakups – both improvements. In 2023, he started all 13 games – opting out only of the bowl – and totaled 43 tackles, 14 pass breakups (an ACC best) and an interception. He assistant in a sack then, too.

Brugler ranked Green as the No. 17 cornerback, while PFF had him at No. 13.

Pick(s): No. 109 (fourth round), No. 143 (fifth round), No. 187 (sixth round), No. 197 (sixth round)

Other Day 3 options: Caelen Carson (Wake Forest), Khyree Jackson (Oregon), Kamal Hadden (Tennessee), Johnny Dixon (Penn State)

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