In a league filled with the likes of Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant and Julio Jones, having good players at the corner position is hugely important. It's a high-value position in the NFL, and the Falcons currently have two very good ones manning the outside of Dan Quinn's defense. If the Falcons defense is going to continue to improve, this position will be a critically important one.
The 2013 first round pick of the Falcons has been one of the best young corners to enter the league in the last several years. Getting him in the latter half of the first round seems like a steal now. Trufant has tremendous closing speed, is incredibly disciplined, and is not intimated by any receiver in the league. His footwork is very good and he's rarely beaten cleanly. The only knock on him is his poor hands. He's grown every year he's been in the league and was recognized as a pro-bowler in 2015. He should be a Falcon for a long-time, and is a fantastic building block for this budding defense.
Trufant's draft mate in 2013 often gets overlooked, but Robert Alford has come into his own as well. He's less disciplined than Trufant, but may actually be the faster of the two. Alford is a willing tackler and has better hands and more of a ball-hawk mentality. He's not quite on Trufant's level, but he is a quality starting corner in this league, despite fan frustrations over some of his more bone-headed plays. He's shown considerable growth each year he's been in the league and the team is lucky to have him around. The only question is whether the team will be able to afford to keep him.
The young second year player didn't help his case with the fans by getting suspended for the first four games of 2016. His play on the field in 2015 also left a bit to be desired, though the more studious eye could see that he was showing improvement towards the end of the year. Collins has the size, length and speed that Dan Quinn wants in his corners - the only question is whether he can pull it all together. It's way too early to write this young man off, but he does need to show some growth this year or fans will get very antsy about this second round pick.
As a seventh round pick in 2015, King managed to make the roster. His size and length are undoubtedly what Quinn is looking for, but he is definitely a project. He's worth keeping an eye on in 2016, though I wouldn't expect him to get significant snaps this year either.
With Trufant and Alford, the Falcons have one of the better cornerback pairings in the NFL. Jalen Collins really needs to show some improvement this year, and Akeem King is intriguing as a long-term developmental prospect, but the strength of this unit lies with it's starters. While there's a possibility that Alford won't be here for the long-term, the team at least has him and Alford for 2016, giving them a formidable pairing on the outside.