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The Falcons’ most underrated defender is...

All of our staff picks are from the team’s secondary.

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images

Matt Chambers: Atlanta’s most underrated defender is Ricardo Allen.

Atlanta’s secondary has gotten a whole lot of flak this season, which is crazy because there are playmakers at each position. The most underrated here is definitely Allen. We saw what the defense looked like when he was hurt, and I don’t want to see that ever again. He’s a tough hitter with great speed to patrol the center of the field, and does not get enough credit.

Jeanna Thomas: Ricardo Allen doesn’t get nearly enough credit.

Look no farther than the defensive lapses while Allen was out with a concussion. His role at free safety is more than just playing the position. The team relies on him to be that big-play eraser, but also keep the rest of the defense on track. Don’t underestimate the respect Allen has earned from his teammates and what his leadership means in that locker room, either. He’s fundamentally important to the Falcons defense.

DW: Stop hating on Robert Alford ya losers

Of all the players on this defense, Alford seems to get an inordinate amount of hate. His season started poorly for certain, but he has gotten better with each game played. He was a key factor in shutting down the Cowboys passing offense and is regularly in a position to make plays on the ball. His penalties always seem to get the most attention, but he regularly shuts down receivers for large stretches of the game. He’s not a perfect player, but he’s far better than most fans give him credit for.

Dave Choate: It’s Desmond Trufant, somehow.

Trufant regularly gets ripped for his mistakes, which are often minor, and I’ve seen suggestions that he be demoted/traded/released/fired into the sun this year. It boggles my mind, because Tru is simply one of the better cornerbacks in football, same as he has always been. As long as that misguided vitriol keeps up, he’ll be one of the most underrated Falcons.