Now that free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft draft are (mostly) behind us, it’s time to take a closer look at the Atlanta Falcons’ roster heading in to the summer. Outside of a few additions and subtractions here and there in the course of training camp and the preseason, this is the roster Atlanta will be working with during the 2022 season.
We’ll kick things off with a look at the projected starters and players competing for those spots. Next up is safety. One of the most stable position groups on defense, three of the four safeties who played significant snaps in 2021 are returning for this season: 2021 second-rounder Richie Grant, 2020 fourth-rounder Jaylinn Hawkins, and veteran re-signing Erik Harris.
Next up, veteran addition Dean Marlowe.
S Dean Marlowe
Age: 29 (30 during 2022 season)
Contract: $1.05M cap hit in 2022, free agent in 2023
Career Production: 47 games played, 16 games started | 105 total tackles, 67 solo, 2.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks | 7 PD, 2 INT
2021 Production: 16 games played, 9 games started | 67 total tackles, 37 solo, 6.9% MTR | 2 PD, 80.0% completion rate allowed, 118.1 passer rating allowed | 61.0 overall PFF grade
The Falcons safety room was a lot more stable heading in to 2022, with multiple promising young players returning in Richie Grant and Jaylinn Hawkins. Atlanta also re-signed veteran Erik Harris to continue filling out the depth chart, but wasn’t quite done yet. Just a few days later, the team added another veteran: Dean Marlowe, a former UDFA with six years of NFL experience under his belt.
Marlowe initially signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2015 and would go on to make the 53-man roster. He would play mostly on special teams in his rookie season, and once again made the roster in 2016 only to wind up on IR. Marlowe would miss most of the 2017 season with injury before being picked up on the Buffalo Bills practice squad. He’d stick with the Bills through the 2020 season, where he’d start 4 games and have an impressive year as a reserve. In 2021, he went to the Lions, where he’d start nine games and play over 65% of the snaps.
Marlowe has largely been a depth and rotational player in his career, but his last two seasons have been very encouraging for his potential as a solid starter. He’s not moving the needle for your defense, but Marlowe brings a versatile skillset as a capable run defender and coverage player to the table. He’ll get an opportunity to provide veteran experience and depth to a young secondary alongside Harris, and could even challenge for the third safety role if he performs well in camp.
Projection: Dean Marlowe brings six years of NFL experience and a versatile skillset at safety to the Falcons. He’s never been more than a solid starter during his career, but that makes Marlowe a reliable depth piece and special teams player who can potentially challenge for a role as the third safety.