Dan Quinn Believes Falcons Already Have a No. 1 Cornerback

Dan Quinn

Getty Head coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons.

The 2020 NFL Draft is just four days away and Falcons fans are on the edge of their seats wondering what draft day will bring who Atlanta will select first.

There are a lot of ways the Falcons can go with their No. 16 pick in this year’s draft and the word in various mock drafts is that a cornerback is Atlanta’s main priority. However, head coach Dan Quinn addressed the local media on Monday saying the Falcons already have a potential No. 1 corner in Kendall Sheffield.

 

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Falcons Trade-Up for Sheffield

The Falcons traded up six spots with the Detroit Lions last year to select Sheffield in the fourth-round.

In 2015, Sheffield came out of his Texas high school as an All-American and top-five cornerback prospect and signed with Alabama. After deciding he didn’t want to redshirt anymore, he transferred to a local junior college. The Buckeyes picked up Sheffield in 2017 where he played in all 14 games with three starts. He recorded 40 tackles with nine pass breakups.

Sheffield was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick as a junior, posting 35 stops, two interceptions, and eight pass breakups in 14 starts.  He also broke Ohio State’s record with 6.6 60-yard dash in February 2018.

At the end of his collegiate career, Sheffield has accumulated 75 total tackles, 15 pass deflections, two INTs, two forced fumbles.

As a rookie Falcon in 2019, Sheffield has started 11 out of the 16 games he played as a rookie and recorded 46 tackles and a forced fumble.

With the release of Desmond Trufant, the Falcons will be expecting a lot more out of him and Dan Quinn made that clear Monday morning.

A Need for Cornerback Depth

The Falcons currently have four guys at the cornerback position, Isaiah Oliver, and Sheffield, Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Jordan Miller. Oliver, Sheffield and Miller are all under 23-years-old. Each of these guys have promising futures but lack consistency. They also have a lot to prove this offseason that they are more than just backup quality.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff spoke to the media last week and said he wants to ‘hone in’ on the cornerback position.

“I’m a big believer, I’ve said this before, you really can never have enough corners and I think it’s really important for us to hone in on that,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said on Tuesday. “Whether it’s the back end of free agency or whether it’s in the draft, we’ll continue to look in that area and make sure we have the right amount of people to fortify not only the front line but the depth as well. I understand the concerns of where the numbers are at this point.”

While the Falcons are in need of a cornerback they might find it later in the draft and can focus on other defensive needs early on, especially with such high hopes for Sheffield.

Falcons Trading Up for Cornerback Rumors?

Yes, there have been rumors that the Falcons will risk a lot to grab C.J. Henderson in the first-round of the draft. But after Quinn and Dimitroff praising Sheffield, I don’t think that’s who they have their eyes on anymore.

If the Falcons do decide to trade up, they’re going to need to aim for a versatile guy like former Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons or Auburn’s sack machine Derrick Brown.

Either of these two prospects would be worth the big trade and make a much-needed, instant impact on the Falcons defense.

READ NEXT: Oklahoma’s Tackling Machine Linked to Falcons First-Round Pick


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