Last year, the Falcons headed into the season with an untested player transitioning to a new position at free safety and an oft-injured veteran starting at strong safety. This year, the outlook should be a little different for this position group.
Safeties currently on the roster
Last season, the team was starting William Moore and Ricardo Allen. Moore, a seasoned veteran, played well when healthy, but injuries hindered his effectiveness. The team parted ways with Moore after the season, replacing him with this year's first round pick, Keanu Neal.
Allen transitioned nicely into the free safety role. Though it was an adjustment coming from cornerback, and he did have a handful of lapses and growing pains, overall he adapted to the free safety position very well. With another full offseason to prepare and acclimate, he should be even better able to effectively execute that role this season.
As backups, Kemal Ishmael, Charles Godfrey and Robenson Therezie all return. All got opportunities to play last season. Ishmael is serviceable as a backup at strong safety, and Godfrey and Therezie should be reasonable options for free safety, unless one of the other guys in camp is able to beat them out for the backup spot.
Neal should be an upgrade, and Allen should be improved. Will this unit be better, worse or the same in 2016? I have a difficult time believing they'll be anything but better.