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3 Questions With Falcons Rookie Dezmen Southward


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Guest MikeKennHOF

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My "gut" says this guy will be solid; his measureables can validate my gut!

His problem isn't a lack of physical ability. He has shown almost no aptitude to make impact plays. He doesn't seem to be an instinctive player with a nose for the ball.

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His problem isn't a lack of physical ability. He has shown almost no aptitude to make impact plays. He doesn't seem to be an instinctive player with a nose for the ball.

Plenty of guys have succeeded in the NFL with those same type issues coming out of college.

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Just from hearing 3 or 4 of his interviews he seem's to be a fairly smart guy, add his speed, his leaping ability, and his great college tackling, as a coach you have to say give me all those quality's and I can make a player out of him.

I agree...I hope he does well...seems like a good kid...

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Guest MikeKennHOF

Plenty of guys have succeeded in the NFL with those same type issues coming out of college.

That is the exception: not the norm. I believe he will be a decent body in a jersey whose athleticism will allow him to be a decent player who won't Dimry, but whose lack of instinctuve playmaking will always leave us looking and hoping for more.

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That is the exception: not the norm. I believe he will be a decent body in a jersey whose athleticism will allow him to be a decent player who won't Dimry, but whose lack of instinctuve playmaking will always leave us looking and hoping for more.

6 of the bleacher report's top safeties had 6 or fewer interceptions during their college careers

Rafael Bush - 2

Troy polomalu - 6

Will Hill -4

Kenny Vaccaro - 5

Kam Chancellor - 6

Donte Whitner - 5

Devin McCourty - 6

Keep in mind that Southward didn't start playing football until his senior year in High school and was moved around a lot during his college career in Wisconsin.

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At the end of the day, the challenge with this kid will be education. He'll need to learn a lot in order to succeed, so his success will depend solely on his dedication to perfecting his craft. The tangibles are there, he just has to have the drive to earn the rest.

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His problem isn't a lack of physical ability. He has shown almost no aptitude to make impact plays. He doesn't seem to be an instinctive player with a nose for the ball.

With a Wonderlic score of 31 (the highest I can recall for a safety in recent memory), aptitude is not an issue. Perhaps I would replace aptitude with game experience and his instincts for the ball should improve with more game experience.

As someone else mentioned, he stated playing football his senior year in HS and, as I recall, he hasn't had a load of snaps as a college FS.

Who knows, but with his physical measurables, high aptitude and some good coaching we could be looking at something special within 2-3 years. Either way, the conjecture is fun!

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I am looking forward to seeing whether or not he'll compete for a starting spot in year 1. As others have said, his measurables are off the chart. The questions I have are about how fast he can translate those physical abilities to the field in the NFL.

He is very smart, freakishly athletic, and has ideal height/weight to go with it. The challenges for rookie players tends to be around the complexity and speed of the NFL. With his limited time playing football, I could see it taking a couple of years to adapt. I hope we see it day 1, but my expectation is seeing him take a big leap in year 2, but not seeing his full potential until years 3-4.

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6 of the bleacher report's top safeties had 6 or fewer interceptions during their college careers

Rafael Bush - 2

Troy polomalu - 6

Will Hill -4

Kenny Vaccaro - 5

Kam Chancellor - 6

Donte Whitner - 5

Devin McCourty - 6

Keep in mind that Southward didn't start playing football until his senior year in High school and was moved around a lot during his college career in Wisconsin.

Nice data. I realize he was a lesser known prospect so some people are finding thing to criticize on him, but he also had a hurt wrist his senior year. Just because a guy doesn't have a lot of interceptions does not mean he's in the wrong place or cannot play the position. A LB that does not happen to get many forced fumbles can still be a great LB because he gets to the ball and tackles well.

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6 of the bleacher report's top safeties had 6 or fewer interceptions during their college careers

Rafael Bush - 2

Troy polomalu - 6

Will Hill -4

Kenny Vaccaro - 5

Kam Chancellor - 6

Donte Whitner - 5

Devin McCourty - 6

Keep in mind that Southward didn't start playing football until his senior year in High school and was moved around a lot during his college career in Wisconsin.

An even more interesting fact is that DeCoud had "1" interception in his entire career at Cal.

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Guest MikeKennHOF

With a Wonderlic score of 31 (the highest I can recall for a safety in recent memory), aptitude is not an issue. Perhaps I would replace aptitude with game experience and his instincts for the ball should improve with more game experience.

Do you honestly think "aptitude" means the same thing as "intellect" in the context of my statement? What an ignorant, know-nothing clown you are. Before you try to correct me, perhaps you should google "aptitude" in the context in which it was used.

One's Wonderlic score has zero bearing on one's natural instinctiveness or sense for making big plays at key moments.

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That is the exception: not the norm. I believe he will be a decent body in a jersey whose athleticism will allow him to be a decent player who won't Dimry, but whose lack of instinctuve playmaking will always leave us looking and hoping for more.

Fair enough, but if there's a guy that can turn him into a legit FS, it's Nolan. Could he be any worse than DeClod last year? He will take some lumps, and some of those lumps might be part of what might lose us a game or two, but once he starts to 'get it', him, Matthews, and Hageman are young guys we just got this year that can be very critical pieces to this team being competitive for a long time, along with Trufant and possibly Alford as well. The pieces are starting to come together for this to be a top 10 defense in a couple of years.

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Guest MikeKennHOF

Fair enough, but if there's a guy that can turn him into a legit FS, it's Nolan. Could he be any worse than DeClod last year? He will take some lumps, and some of those lumps might be part of what might lose us a game or two, but once he starts to 'get it', him, Matthews, and Hageman are young guys we just got this year that can be very critical pieces to this team being competitive for a long time, along with Trufant and possibly Alford as well. The pieces are starting to come together for this to be a top 10 defense in a couple of years.

I don't think anyone else can ever shy away from so many tackles. But will he be significantly better in coverage? Will he haul in interceptions or just deflect the ball when he gets a finger on the ball?

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