Robert Alford Excelling In Coverage Thus Far In Preseason

Todd Kirkland

The rookie cornerback isn't just impressing Falcons fans.

The calls for Robert Alford have been lusty. With good reason, as it turns out.

In 36 preseason coverage snaps, Pro Football Focus determined that Alford has not allowed a catch. It's not an enormous sample size, of course, and Alford did have a pretty ugly penalty in the second preseason game that points to the overly physical play in practice that has held him back in the competition for a starting job.

The retort to that is, so what? This is a 24-year-old small school prospect who was widely penciled in to the fourth cornerback job this season, and he's already showing excellent coverage skills. Even if it's come against backups, in preseason games, it shows what kind of upside he has. The Falcons will find ways to get him on the field to take advantage of his superior athleticism, so it's not like he'll be buried.

Ultimately, his strong performances are not likely to win him a starting job. They'll get him snaps in the regular season, let him grow and hope he's ready to become a top-flight cornerback as soon as 2014.

He's already very good. I can't wait to see how his career unfolds.

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