We've chatted a little bit about free agent options at safety for Atlanta, considering the team just moved on from William Moore, their more-or-less full-time starter since 2010. The question is who replaces Moore, and whether it's a free agent at all.
It would help if I gave you a poll, right? Who starts at SS in 2016?— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) February 26, 2016
As you can see from our deeply unscientific poll, most Falcons fans expect either a free agent acquisition or incumbent safety Kemal Ishmael at the spot. Ishmael has played far better than his draft status and reputation would indicate over the last two seasons, frequently creating turnovers and putting big hits on receivers and running backs, though he's far from a finished product in coverage. This is a decent free agent class, with Tashaun Gipson, Eric Weddle, George Iloka, and a few young players looming as possible solutions. Therezie was impressive in his first year but probably isn't ready to start, while the Falcons may not select a safety with one of their first three picks, so a free agent pickup would be welcomed. The question is whether Atlanta will be willing to bid up on someone like Iloka or Gipson, or if they'll elect to add some competition to the mix.
For my money, the poll results are accurate. Ishmael should be considered the frontrunner until we see who Atlanta lands in free agency. Obviously someone like Gipson would come in as a lock to start, but I expect a less inspiring signing who will compete directly with Ishmael and Therezie, while Ricardo Allen locks down free safety.
What say you?