Originally written on Grits Blitz  |  Last updated 4/5/12

The Falcons re-committed to Thomas DeCoud earlier this off-season but now they've lost two of their back-ups in the last two days. Kelvin Hayden signed with the Chicago Bears for the veteran minimum ($825,000) and this came on the heels of the Arizona Cardinals signing James Sanders. Sanders finished last season with 41 tackles and one fumble recovery. Hayden had 24 tackles and two interceptions.

The future of the "Big" Nickel?


Let's be honest, neither Sanders or Hayden going to another team is going to kill us but it does leave some question marks on the defense. William Moore and Thomas DeCoud will be penciled in as starters. I'm really excited about Moore. I think he is an answer. DeCoud is a big question-mark. Can he bounce back to the promise he showed early in his career under the new guidance of Mike Nolan?

Outside of Moore and DeCoud we have Shann Schillinger and someone named Suaesi Tuimanuel listed as our only safeties. Now the Falcons will continue to play the waiting game as they focus on the draft and wait to see if someone gets cut and falls into their laps. I've always seen Safety as a need for us in the draft and this just cements it as a need as the draft approaches. 

Outside of Mark Barron there aren't a lot of plug and play guys available at the Safety position this year but it is a deep draft for that position in terms of depth. Guys like Vandy's Sean Richardson, Janzen Jackson (formerly of Tennessee) and Antonio Allen (South Carolina) are a few names you should be familiar with if you follow college football. There is also some lesser known talent like Jerron McMillian (Maine) and Duke Ihenacho (San Jose State) that will also be available in the later rounds.


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