The team announced on Tuesday that they had agreed to terms with two more draft picks. Cornerback Chevis Jackson and safety Thomas DeCoud, both third round picks, agreed to four-year contracts with the Falcons. To make room for both players on the roster, the team also released reserve tight end George Cooper.
Both Jackson and DeCoud were added in the draft to upgrade a weak secondary. Jackson is expected to eventually compete for the team’s nickel cornerback position and then eventually a starting position. He was a three-year starter at LSU and over his career recorded 8 interceptions and 36 pass deflections. He earned 1st team All-SEC honors this past year as one of the leaders in the national championship LSU secondary.
The Falcons have stated they liked DeCoud’s versatility and believe he can potentially play either safety position. He played primarily free safety at California, where he was only the primary starter for one season. But in that lone season as a senior starter, he recorded 116 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles.
Cooper was originally an undrafted rookie with the Detroit Lions last year, but was cut by the Lions in June. He landed with the Falcons and spent the entire regular season on the team’s practice squad. He is primarily known for his blocking skills, but the addition of draft pick Keith Zinger made him a bit expendable.
The Falcons now have four of their eleven 2008 draft picks under contract.