Breaking down the safeties: Atlanta

July, 6, 2011
7/06/11
12:00
PM ET
Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson breaks down the safeties of each NFC South team. Today: Atlanta Falcons.

William Moore was a second-round pick in 2009. His first season in the league was a wash, but he made some strides last year. I realize that he has a lot of work to do in all facets of playing safety, I still expect Moore to really come on in 2011. He has very good size and plays to that size. Moore is a hitter and should become a tackling machine. He is a natural playmaker who picked off five passes last season. Injuries have been a problem for him, though. But if he's healthy, I expect a very strong statistical season from Moore.

Thomas DeCoud is a good complement to Moore. He is best in coverage and away from the line of scrimmage. He is a rangy player and is improving. He is better in zone than man coverage. DeCoud is slender and could stand to add a few pounds. He also need to improve upon his four career interceptions, especially given his usual role in this defense.

Shann Shillinger has the makeup to be a prominent member of Atlanta’s special teams but probably would be exposed if forced to see a lot of snaps with the regular defense.

The Falcons could use another body at safety, preferably a veteran who can be a swing safety and back up both DeCoud and Moore while also contributing in sub package defenses and on special teams.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com. Follow Matt Williamson on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL

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