The Falcons went from having an experienced and expensive secondary to a younger and cheaper one.
And how those kids hold up will determine in part whether or how much the Falcons improve as a defense.
Last year, the Falcons went with the veteran trio Brent Grimes, Dunta Robinson and Asante Samuel and the paychecks that went with them. Only Samuel remains of the trio of veteran corners.
The Falcons used their first two picks this year on cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, and they’re going to test them early.
“I think our two corners, they’ve got the skill-sets to be very good players for us,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said, via the team’s official website. “They’re going to get a chance to get lots of reps early on in the preseason.”
Of course, the biggest tests they’ll get might come in practice. Working against wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White will represent as tough an assignment as they’ll see anywhere else.
“It’s a learning lesson each time they go against them,” Smith said.
Both the rookies are rotating reps with the first defense. Samuel and Robert McClain are also getting looks, but if the Falcons can trust the kids through the week, they should be able to hold up on Sundays.