The Falcons made an official announcement signing Hawkins on Wednesday afternoon.
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Hawkins’ NFL Past
Hawkins finished his short XFL stint tallying 11 tackles, two interceptions, and four passes reflections.
Prior to joining the XFL, Hawkins saw some time on the NFL playing field. Hawkins went undrafted in 2016 and signed with the Green Bay Packers as a free agent. He recorded five tackles and two interceptions.
After being released, the Panthers picked him up for their practice squad. He didn’t make it to the active roster in Carolina. Kansas City signed Hawkins next, where once again he found his spot on the practice squad and didn’t get the playing time he wanted.
The XFL signed Hawkins after he was released from the Philadelphia Eagles. In total, Hawkins had 43 tackles, seven pass deflections and a forced fumble in the NFL.
But it doesn’t stop there, the Falcons will give Hawkins another chance in the NFL to record some more stats after the fold of the XFL.
Competing for a Spot
Falcons’ general manager Thomas Dimitroff told the media last week that Atlanta will be adding multiple guys at 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. “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.”
The Falcons currently have four guys at the cornerback position, Isiah Oliver, and Kendall Sheffield, Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Jordan Miller. Oliver, Sheffield and Miller are all under 23-years-old. They each have promising futures but haven’t been consistent and are still only backup quality.
Hawkins will likely step in behind those four and whoever they bring in from the 2020 NFL draft, but the offseason will give him a chance to compete at a higher spot on the depth ladder.
Joining Former College Teammate
What’s cool about the Hawkins addition is that he will be joining his former college teammate from East Carolina University, Kurt Benkert. The two haven’t played with each other since 2016.
Benkert is back this season after a horrendous season-ending toe injury last year. He will also be competing as a backup QB with Matt Schaub and Danny Etling. He told Heavy.com how he is not worried about competing. He’s focused on himself and his main goal is to be as accurate as possible.
“I just want to have a high completion percentage throughout all of offseason and just take care of the football, Benkert said. I know that I can make big plays. I can make big plays with my feet, throwing it out of the pocket, but I just want to show consistency through everything and just that I can take care of the ball. I think that’ll do enough on its own.”
Excited to see where these two land after the offseason.