The Atlanta Falcons used day three of the NFL draft to bolster the depth of specific position groups. Cornerback is one of the most slim positions on the entire Atlanta Falcons roster. Desmond Trufant, Isaiah Oliver and Damontae Kazee are the favorites to start at the position. Blidi Wreh-Wilson is the only other experienced cornerback on the roster, though safety JJ Wilcox is also able to defend the slot. Help is definitely needed at cornerback.
The Falcons decided that Kendall Sheffield from Ohio State University is the help needed in the defensive backfield. Sheffield is a former track star and a 5’11 193 pound cornerback. He was originally a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide, but transferred after receiving a red shirt. Before moving on to Ohio State, Sheffield made a stop at Blinn Junior College. Kendall arrived on the Ohio State campus and immediately found the field. He played in all 14 games, with three of those being starts. He made 40 tackles on the season, with 2 of those tackles being for a loss. Sheffield also forced and recovered a fumble. He also added a solid nine pass breakups in 2017.
This past season Kendall Sheffield earned the right to start all 14 games that Ohio State played in. This time he registered 35 tackles, with two again causing a loss of yards for the opposition. He also forced a fumble. Sheffield earned his first two interceptions as on the major college level in 2018, and he broke up six additional passes. He was an honorable mention for the All Big 10 Team and declared for the NFL draft following the season.
The Atlanta Falcons YouTube channel provides us with some highlights of Kendall Sheffield:
Kendall Sheffield was targeted 58 times in coverage last season. He allowed 32 of those passes to be caught for 553 yards and five touchdown. That’s a catch percentage of 54.2. Quarterbacks had a rating of 100.5 when throwing at Sheffield. In the advanced stat of yards allowed per coverage snap, he gave up 1.22 yards per snap. That ranked him number 87 in the country. When defending slot receivers, Sheffield gave up 2.56 yards per coverage snap. This gave him a ranking of number 148 among NCAA cornerbacks.
Overall Pro Football Focus gave Kendall Sheffield a grade of 74.8 for the 2018 season. His run defense grade was 60.4. In coverage he was awarded a grade of 76.5. That was a nice improvement from a 67.0 coverage grade the prior season.