The Atlanta Falcons' roster is always changing, but there could be some significant changes when free agency begins on March 18 and with the NFL Draft right around the corner.
Atlanta has a number of positional needs to fill this offseason and cornerback is one the Falcons could address. Desmond Trufant, Isaiah Oliver, Kendall Sheffield are all set to return for the 2020 season, but the Falcons are likely to add to this group.
NFL teams can begin negotiating with free agents on March 16th but can't sign a player until March 18 at 4 p.m. ET when the new league year begins.
Here are three cornerbacks who could be available if they hit the open market (listed in alphabetical order):
- Age: 26
- Current team: Minnesota Vikings
If the Falcons are looking to add an established cornerback to their secondary, Alexander would be a legit option. The former second-round pick is one of the top slot cornerbacks in the league. Since entering the league, Alexander has recorded 103 tackles, eight quarterback hits and 4.5 sacks.
Why he fits the Falcons: The best part of Alexander's game is something Falcons coach Dan Quinn values significantly in his defense – tackling. According to Pro Football Focus, he didn't miss a single tackle in 2019 and surrendered the fewest yards after the catch among all slot corners. Atlanta's defense ranked No. 22 against the pass last season and adding a cornerback of Alexander's caliber would certainly be a help in that area.
- Age: 27
- Current team: Houston Texans
Roby is one of the most athletic cornerbacks in the NFL and has been successful playing in the nickel role and on the outside. The former No. 31 overall pick by the Denver Broncos has amassed 274 tackles, nine interceptions and eight forced fumbles in his career.
Why he fits the Falcons: Roby is known for his ability and desire to make plays on the ball. The Falcons will be looking to generate more turnovers defensively in the upcoming season and having a player like Roby could help. Atlanta ranked No. 24 in the league in takeaways in 2019 with 20 on the year.
- Age: 29
- Current team: Tennessee Titans
Ryan played a prominent role in Tennessee's defense that led them to the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. The versatile cornerback has a knack for making plays on the ball all over the field. Ryan appears to still be playing at the top of his game and his veteran leadership is something teams could be interested in adding to their locker room.
Why he fits the Falcons: The Falcons have a relatively young cornerback group with Kendall Sheffield, Isaiah Oliver and Jordan Miller all on the roster. Desmond Trufant is the older player in Atlanta's secondary but has struggled to stay healthy for the last three seasons. More veteran leadership at this position could help the younger players in their development and fix some of the communication issues that were present in 2019. Ryan is also a ball-hawking safety and has proven over the years he can generate turnovers. The 29-year-old has recorded 19 quarterback hits, 11 sacks and nine forced fumbles in his seven-year career.