Will the Falcons Draft a Corner Back in the First Round?

Kevin C. Cox

Fact: Brent Grimes makes me sad

The Falcons' secondary is in flux. Uncertainty abounds. The Browns are courting Brent Grimes like he's Rebecca Romijn-Stamos before she got Stamosed. Dunta Robinson is now a Chief. Chris Owens is a free agent and the Falcons aren't in a hurry to re-sign him. What's left?

Asante Samuel and Robert McClain are all we've got. Samuel is a known commodity, notwithstanding his recent durability issues. McClain is a bit of an unknown, though he played surprisingly well in 2012. If anything is clear, it's that the Falcons won't remain static at corner back. Something is going to happen. They will either re-sign Grimes or draft his replacement early.

In the long term, drafting a corner back makes sense. There's a wealth of talent at the position in this year's draft class. Barring a Julio Joneseque trade on draft day, the Falcons won't come close to getting Alabama's DeMarcus Milliner. But there are other options out there, and I'd expect Thomas Dimitroff and his merry band of football analysts to do their homework. I know what you're thinking: "what about Grimes?!"

What about Grimes? The Browns flew him out on a private jet. They wined and dined him. They bought him a twelver of Bud Heavy and a pack of P-Funks for the flight back. Simply stated, they're lobbying hard for his services. I don't want to overpay him, and though it may be difficult to swallow at first, I'm okay with him playing elsewhere.

Achilles injuries are no joke. Much has been said about his leaping ability being affected, but achilles injuries adversely affect all professional football players. Defensive ends can't get a good push, running backs can't cut, wide outs can't get off the line quickly, the ill effects go on and on. Grimes claims he's healthy, and I don't believe the Falcons would even entertain signing him if he weren't ready to go. In other words, they'd have moved on already. Maybe they have, but it sure doesn't seem like it.

Drafting a corner back in the first round is no guarantee. It's a position with a particularly steep learning curve during the college to pro transition. Corner backs don't come in and dominate right away. The wild care here is an improved pass rush. We know the Falcons are taking a hard look at improving their pass rush, one way or another. If they can do that, then in theory, they can afford to field a more mediocre corner back corps.

Your thoughts?

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