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Falcons DB Jaylinn Hawkins: NFL Best-Kept Secret?

Which player isn’t receiving enough attention?

The Atlanta Falcons haven’t made the playoffs since the 2017 season, and have largely been out of the public eye in recent years. As a result, several young players on the roster have flown under the radar across the league.

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According to Bleacher Report, one Falcon in particular is the team’s best-kept secret. That player is Jaylinn Hawkins, a third-year pro out of the University of California-Berkeley who Atlanta’s previous regime drafted in the fourth round of their final draft.

Last season, Hawkins started four of the 14 games in which he appeared in. He had two interceptions, three passes defended, and 24 total tackles.

Bleacher Report believes Hawkins is poised for a big 2022 with more opportunities. “In 2021, Jaylinn Hawkins took the field for 49 percent of the Atlanta Falcons' defensive snaps, though he made enough plays on the ball to earn consideration for an expanded role in the upcoming season.

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“At 6-1, 208 pounds, Hawkins can play the deep safety role or line up in the box to supplement the run, which bodes well for his chance at a full-time starting position.”

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While some may feel that trusting Hawkins with more responsibility is risky, Bleacher Report disagrees, stating that, “Hawkins has already shown that he'll take advantage of more time on the field.”

Earlier this offseason, Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees said that Hawkins and fellow safety Richie Grant will “get their opportunity.”

It’s now up to Hawkins to assert himself as a starter, so that he can be a secret no more.