Falcons Named Potential Landing Spot for 2-Time All-Pro CB

Bleacher Report’s Derrik Klassen suggested the Atlanta Falcons could pursue a 2-time All-Pro to fill their remaining hole at cornerback.
Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell
Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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A lot of NFL pundits have argued this offseason that the Atlanta Falcons still have a hole on their defense at edge rusher. But Bleacher Report’s Derrik Klassen went in a different direction and identified 2020 first-team All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard as a potential solution for Atlanta.

Klassen argued that cornerback for the Falcons is one of the biggest holes left not only for Atlanta but in the entire league. To fill the void, Howard was one of four players Klassen suggested as additions the Falcons should make to their secondary.

“AJ Terrell needs some help. Despite being one of the brightest young cornerbacks in the game, his impact can often feel muted because teams can just throw away from him. That's been true for most of his time in Atlanta,” wrote Klassen.

“With OTAs underway, it looks like Dee Alford is going to man the nickel position while a slew of others duke it out for the outside spot opposite Terrell. Names like Clark Phillips III, Kevin King, Mike Hughes and Antonio Hamilton are all in the mix.

“I'm cool with crossing off almost all of these names as serious answers for the starting job.

“The Falcons are going to need someone bigger and better if they want to be a serious defense, though. They at least need someone who can provide better competition for Phillips than the likes of King, Hughes and Hamilton.”

The other three potential cornerback candidates Klassen named for the Falcons were free agents Ahkello Witherspoon and Adoree’ Jackson, along with Philadelphia Eagles veteran James Bradberry.

Although he will turn 31 on July 4, Howard has experienced the most successful career of those cornerbacks, making him the most interesting potential addition on Klassen’s list. In addition to his 2020 first-team All-Pro nomination, Howard made second-team All-Pro in 2018.

He led the NFL in interceptions both of those seasons. Howard is also a 4-time Pro Bowler – 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022. 

Last season, he posted 45 combined tackles with 12 pass defenses and 1 interception. 

Howard is likely still a free agent because he’s not the cornerback he once was. But he would become the clear-cut best option for CB2 opposite A.J. Terrell if he was on the Falcons roster.

The Miami Dolphins drafted Howard in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft. He has recorded 95 pass defenses and 29 interceptions in 100 career NFL games, all of which have been with the Dolphins.

Dave Holcomb


Dave is a staff writer at Falcon Report. He also writes at Yardbarker, Southern Pigskin, Cox Media, and Rotowire. Follow him on Twitter @dmholcomb.