Jan 1, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Bruce Ellington (23) makes a fourth-down catch in front of Wisconsin Badgers safety Dezmen Southward (12) in the third quarter as the South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Wisconsin Badgers 34-24 in the Capital One Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons sign third round pick Dez Southward

The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with third round pick, Dezmen Southward.  Southward, the defensive back out of Wisconsin appears to have been a result of having access and being able to see him up close at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.  The Falcons took a pair of players they saw in Mobile including Southward and second round pick Ra’Shede Hageman.

The Falcons agreed to bring in free agent Dwight Lowery to play their free safety spot, so Southward is initially coming in as depth, but they have to hope that he can ultimately surpass Lowery and take the job at some point to play next to William Moore.  Lowery and Southward replace Thomas DeCoud who was allowed to walk in free agency.

Southward is an athletic defensive back that showed some of the raw ability to help at corner, playing a hybrid role for the Badgers where he would line up in the slot at times.  After only playing one year of high school football, despite being a coach’s son, Southward is still trying to develop the instincts for the position.  Southward should be able to make an early impact on special teams and if he can find the feel for the secondary, could ultimately turn a nice combination of size and athletic ability into a productive career as a starter.

 

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Atlanta Falcons Dez Southward

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