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Cornerback Akeem King's success crucial for Atlanta Falcons in 2016

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Fact: Akeem King once slammed a revolving door

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons' secondary is, like its defense as a whole, a work in progress. There's reason to be optimistic. With the addition of first round draft pick Keanu Neal, the team found their starting strong safety. Meanwhile Ricardo Allen is emerging and Desmond Trufant continues to fly under the radar as one of the league best young cornerbacks. But then there's the cornerback depth.

Critics of the Falcons secondary are a dime a dozen these days. So much so that one prominent NFL writer called Akeem King's capability as the team's third cornerback a "burning question" heading into training camp. Yes, Falcons fans, it's getting serious. Serious chatter about whether a former 7th rounder can save your defense? That's not a conversation anyone wants to have.

The troubling part about relying on King is the frequency with which it will happen in 2016. If you recall, the Falcons like to play nickel defense. They like it a lot. When that happens - and it will happen, as I said, a lot - Robert Alford will shift inside and you'll find King playing opposite Trufant. Sound scary? If not, it should.

None of this is a knock on King personally. He's a good kid that fits the mold Dan Quinn keeps in his hybrid defensive back laboratory. He played capably last season, albeit in only 16 snaps. I'm not opposed to opportunities to be great. In fact, I sincerely hope he is great. It's just a lot to expect from a 23 year old playing the position with one of the steepest learning curves in the NFL.

We badly need every bit of King's size and speed. It's a huge opportunity for him to establish himself in Jalen Collins' absence. Unfortunately for me it will remain an anxiety-inducing dilemma until it's not. Your thoughts?