The Falcons’ defense has received some well-earned recognition this offseason, but only those who follow the team closely know there are some lesser-known names who have shown plenty of promise.
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Pro Football Focus follows NFL teams as closely as anybody, tracking every snap for every player across every game in a season. With that quantity and quality of information, they are able to evaluate players at a deeper level than most fans or media outlets.
In a recent piece, PFF’s Gordon McGuinness listed 10 players they want to see more of in 2018 and second-year safety Damontae Kazee was among those named.
“A star at San Diego State between 2014 and 2017, Kazee allowed an NFL passer rating of just 46.5 over that span, surrendering 96 receptions for 1,256 yards and six touchdowns over the course of three seasons,” McGuinness writes. “Over the same period of time, he picked off 16 passes and broke up 10 more. Moving to safety in his first season in Atlanta, Kazee saw just one start and was solid both against the run and in coverage.”
Kazee transitioned from cornerback to safety in his first season with the Falcons after he was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Kazee was known as a play-making ball-hawk coming out of college and showed improvement as the year progressed. He is projected to be the primary backup for Ricardo Allen at free safety heading into training camp.