A very Falcoholic hat tip to TO falcon, who broke the news yesterday evening that CB William Middleton and DT Vance Walker. Trying to follow that act with a couple of quick sentences of analysis seemed impossible, so let's delve a little bit deeper into this.
I've put together profiles of Middleton and Walker that will give you background on both picks. I think it goes without saying that I'm thrilled they're both on board, as both seem to be bright kids with talent that goes above their draft slot. It doesn't hurt that Middleton is competing for a spot in a wide-open cornerbacking corps, while Walker joins a defensive tackle rotation with some top end talent but not a lot of true depth. Neither will have a giant impact this year, but it's the years ahead that matter.
It's easy to look past these kinds of players, I know. We're all wondering about DT Peria Jerry and S William "C4" Moore by virtue of their draft positions and the fact that they seem to be poised to seize starting jobs. Their splash on our collective psyche is much greater because they'll be playing critical roles immediately, and that's a respectable position...but it totally ignores the overhaul our defense needs to undergo.
If we're to get better quickly, it's going to take contributions from everyone. It's going to take Vance Walker stepping in and making a key stop or two over the course of a season. It's going to take William Middleton picking off a crucial pass to stall a drive. Sometimes you win or lose the game on the back of a role player, and it's no coincidence that teams with quality depth catch those seemingly lucky breaks more often than those squads that don't.
We don't have the terms of these deals yet, but I'll try to update as soon as we do. Here's hoping both stick around and provide value for the Falcons, because I will never say no to defensive help. Leave your thoughts on the rooks in the comments, folks.