The Falcons are in the final stages of preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft, and that means figuring out which positions to target and which prospects to prioritize. Atlanta is also in the process of filling out their roster with affordable veteran depth, and they’ve been quite busy today.
We heard on Wednesday that the team was hosting WR/RB/KR Cordarrelle Patterson with the intent to sign him, and that deal was completed this morning. What we didn’t hear was that the team was also interested in another veteran safety: Duron Harmon, most recently of the Lions. Per the team, Harmon has officially signed with the Falcons.
We have signed RB Cordarrelle Patterson and S Duron Harmon.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 15, 2021
Harmon, a former third-round pick of the Patriots in the 2013 NFL Draft, spent nearly his entire career in New England before signing with Detroit for the 2020 season. He was a part time starter and rotational player for the Patriots, but took on a starting role for the Lions last year: he played and started in all 16 games. Harmon has been a productive ballhawk, with at least 2 interceptions in all but two of his 8-year NFL career.
Harmon has been a solid-to-very good safety almost every year, including on Detroit’s disastrous defense. His 65.3 PFF grade—which is roughly equivalent to a solid starter—in 2020 was the lowest of his career. Prior to that, Harmon had four seasons of good-to-very good starter level play, with PFF grades in the mid-to-high 70s. He’s also been a key contributor on special teams when not asked to start on defense.
Harmon will immediately bolster a safety room that is in desperate need of depth, and is probably the early favorite to play free safety alongside fellow veteran Erik Harris. Atlanta is still extremely likely to target a safety in the 2021 NFL Draft, but Harmon provides some much-needed insurance should the Falcons miss out on their ideal targets.