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So how are the Falcons replacing Jalen Collins?

We'd like to know.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A little over a month ago, we asked how the Falcons planned to replace Jalen Collins for the four games he'll be out. On May 19th, with the official free agency period over and the draft completed...well, we're still asking. With Brandon Boykin visiting Monday, though, we may be closer to an answer.

As a refresher, Collins was suspended for using a substance the NFL consider not kosher, and while he can practice with the team all summer long, he won't be able to play in the first four games of the season. That leaves the Falcons with Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford atop the depth chart, followed by second-year seventh-rounder Akeem King, free agent scrap heap pickup DeMarcus Van Dyke, and some interesting undrafted free agent types like Brian Poole. They can get by for four games with that, in all probability, but I'm not sure they're going to want to.

Most of the options we outlined in that previous post are still available--goodbye, Leon Hall--and Brandon Boykin could be an option once more after he was released by the Panthers recently. To jog your memory, here's who is out there at the moment:

  • Brandon Boykin
  • Walter Thurmond
  • Antonio Cromartie
  • Jerraud Powers
  • Alan Ball
  • Charles Tillman
  • E.J. Biggers
  • Tarell Brown
  • Jayron Hosley
  • Brice McCain
A few more options may shake free later in the summer, if the Falcons (justly) aren't too impressed with this crop. Thurmond would be a nice get if he's still willing to play, and I think Boykin could have legitimate value, but beyond that you're getting into Just A Guy territory.

My best guess is that the Falcons will sign a free agent (perhaps Boykin?) who will be a stopgap fourth cornerback, with King getting first crack at snaps outside in nickel sets with Robert Alford moving in. That's not an ideal scenario, again, but the Falcons are a little low on real options this late in the year.