Expect the Falcons to address their cornerback group and with that in mind, I present one of my favorite prospects in this class.
It’s an important year for Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and you can say that he’s all in. Taking over the defensive coordinator role for the Falcons, Quinn has his sights set on improving a defense that was banged up last season but ranked 25th in scoring defense and 28th overall.
One position that will most definitely get more than enough attention if they went that way is the cornerback spot. The position is one of the better ones in the NFL Draft but the Falcons may have more pressing needs to take a cornerback early, with the position only recently gaining steam among fans and draft analysts as a possibility. If they wanted to wait until late on day two or early on day three, I have a prospect in mind that fits the bill for what the Falcons are looking for.
Sean Bunting Scouting Report
Weight: 195 pounds
Career stats: 104 total tackles, nine interceptions, 15 pass deflections, four forced fumbles
Games watched: 2018 vs. Kentucky, 2018 vs. Toledo, 2018 vs. Akron, 2018 vs. Buffalo
Strengths: Despite Central Michigan’s woes as a team in 2018, Bunting was a bright spot as he earned first team All-MAC honors. Bunting earned an invitation to the NFL Combine and received positive reviews after posting a 4.42 40-yard dash, a 41.5 inch vertical, and looking good in position drills. Bunting possesses good size and a lengthy 76 3⁄4 inch wingspan. That length comes in handy when tasked to play press man coverage as well as off coverage in Cover 3.
His wide receiver experience in high school comes in handy, as Bunting is able to recognize route concepts quicker than a number of cornerbacks at this stage in their career. Bunting shows the capacity to flip his hips in transition and get vertical when need be against speedier receivers while also being rarely out of place because of his short area quickness. He also is not shy at getting physical at the line of scrimmage and provides a nice punch to get an initial jam on the receiver. When he’s able to clearly track the ball, Bunting shows the ability to disengage from coverage slightly to make a play on the ball and attacks it. Bunting can also be a useful weapon in run defense and will lay a shoulder in bringing down a ball carrier.
Weaknesses: While he timed very well at the Combine in the 40-yard dash, film shows a prospect who plays with mid-4.5 speed. Overall, Bunting has good ball skills as a corner but Bunting must improve his ball tracking process at the next level. His overall aggressive style has the potential to carry a tag of being “grabby” in the NFL, something fans tend to hate on sight. Bunting must learn to control the hand fighting throughout the duration of the play. A little polish is also needed on his footwork as it appears to look choppy at times. It will also be interesting to see how much improvement can occur in regards to his overall play strength.
Conclusion: With a pair of starting cornerbacks in Desmond Trufant and Isaiah Oliver plus the likelihood of Damontae Kazee being inserted as a nickel corner in the slot, the Falcons are not necessarily in need of an early round corner that can be a rookie starter. But what they are in need of is quality depth at the position.
Enter Bunting, a very solid corner with size and length that with proper coaching, can be a starting caliber corner down the line for the Falcons. Bunting saw time at both boundary corner spots at Central Michigan and even on occasion in the slot. In due time, Bunting can be worthy of being inserted on the inside because of his fluid change of direction skills and instincts but his talents provides flexibility for the Falcons secondary.
The 6’1” corner had a knack for creating a timely turnover or two with the Chippewas and that will fit right in with the Falcons. There really is nothing special about Bunting but that does not mean he does not have a notable ceiling. It is not far-fetch for the Falcons to target Bunting late on Day 2 or early on Day 3 as his presence can upgrade a Falcons cornerback group the moment he steps onto the practice field in Flowery Branch.