In 2021, Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell established himself as one of the best in the NFL at his position. However, the former first-round pick was often the lone bright spot in the Falcons defensive secondary.
Atlanta finally got Terrell some help over the offseason, signing veteran Casey Hayward to replace Fabian Moreau. The team also brought back Isaiah Oliver, who figures to start at nickel, and signed former Canadian Football League player Dee Alford.
We don’t know how many defensive backs the team will keep on the 53-man roster, but Alford has certainly been making his case in training camp thus far. He followed up some good practice performances with an outstanding debut in Atlanta’s preseason opener, coming away with an acrobatic interception in the 27-23 win over Detroit.
"I'll take that." – Dee Alford
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 12, 2022
Alford views himself as a playmaker and credits his basketball background for his ability to high-point the football.
“I’m a playmaker,” stated Alford to the Falcons team reporters. “I played basketball all my life. So I see ball, I get ball. I just try to high point it. I want to be the first one to get my hands on it. That’s what I do every time I step on the field, I try to find ways to impact the game and help out my team.”
Against the Lions, Alford recorded six tackles and one interception. He was targeted a total of nine times, but only allowed a reception on five occasions for just 33 yards in total. When targeted, the opposing quarterback posted an average passer rating of 24.1.
Outside of his preseason performance, Alford has been making splashes and showing improvement each and every day in camp.
That was a great, great read on an interception by Falcons CB Dee Alford. Really good instincts there.
Alford made a nice play on a pick in practice Wednesday, too. He had a good spring also.
Kind of player who keeps flashing.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) August 12, 2022
ESPN’s Michael Rothstein even mentioned in his daily practice observations that Alford has been on quite a run lately.
“Every practice lately, Alford has shown up”, wrote Rothstein.”With Cornell Armstrong on injured reserve, it’s possible he might play his way onto the roster.”
While Alford appears to be thriving at the moment, he will need to keep up his high level of play for a few more weeks if he wants to solidify his roster spot.
Falcons 53-man roster projection: DT Timmy Horne makes the cut
Falcons cut roster down to 85 players ahead of deadline
Which Falcons player has been the most impressive in training camp?
Falcons must cut roster down to 85 players by Tuesday
PFF: Falcons CB Dee Alford among highest-rated defensive players
Kyle Pitts lands at No. 91 on NFL's Top 100 players of 2022