Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

D. Led's breakdown of the safeties in 2016 draft

FLOWERY BRANCH – Ohio State safety Vonn Bell, a former AJC Super 11 player from Ridgeland High, is considered the top safety prospect in the NFL draft, which is set for Thursday through Saturday in Chicago.

Could he be the Falcons' answer to their long-standing issue of covering tight ends?

It seems like tight ends have been open on the Falcons since San Francisco's Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker were roaming free in the NFC championship game up through last season's torching by the veteran Ben Watson in New Orleans.

Bell was heavily scouted by the Falcons, who released starting safety William Moore this offseason.

“Fiery guy, showed passion and energy, want to be a spark on the team, a play-maker,” Bell said when asked to describe his style of play.

The Falcons are looking to create more turnovers.

“I make plays all over the field, they can watch film … always had a knack for the ball,” Bell said.

But can he cover? Bell is confident that he can cover tight ends in the NFL. Moore was released, in part, because the team was not comfortable with his coverage skills.

“Just play up to them,” Bell said. “I’ve been playing against great tight ends all my years at Ohio State, Jeff Heuerman and Nick (Vannett) and those type of guys, very physical. Just have fun, you’re out there for a reason, show them why you’re there."

Teams in need: Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Detroit, Minnesota and Oakland.

Need area for Falcons? Yes. The Falcons released former starting strong safety William Moore over the offseason. They've scouted several linebackers that they believe can move back to safety. They are looking for a player who can help in run support, tackle in space and not get beat in coverage.

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The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter gives his top players for the Falcons to draft at #17, talks about the interest in LB Myles Jack & tells CineSport’s Noah Coslov where the team may go in round 2.


Sunday, April 17 -- QUARTERBACKS

Rams quest for franchise quarterback behind big trade --Wentz or Goff?

D. Led’s breakdown of the Quarterbacks

A look at the top 10 Quarterbacks in the draft


D Led’s breakdown of the Running backs -- Is Derrick Henry the next Charles Muncie?

A look at the top 10 Running backs


D. Led’s breakdown of the Wide receivers

A look at the top 10 Wide receivers

Wednesday -- TIGHT ENDS

D. Led’s breakdown of the Tight ends

A look at the top 10 tight ends


D. Led’s breakdown of the Offensive linemen

A look at the top 10 offensive linemen


D. Led’s breakdown of the Defensive linemen

A look at the top 10 defensive linemen 

Saturday, April 23 -- LINEBACKERS

Falcons searching for hybrid linebacker/safeties

D. Led’s breakdown of the Linebackers

A look at the top 10 linebackers

Sunday, April 24 -- CORNERBACKS

D. Led’s breakdown of the cornerbacks

A look at the top 10 cornerbacks

Monday, April 25 -- SAFETIES

D. Led’s breakdown of the Safeties

A look at the top 10 Safeties

Tuesday, April 26

D. Led’s breakdown of the Specialists, kickers, punters and returners

Position by position: Specialists chart

Wednesday, April 27

Final mock draft

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.