The Atlanta Falcons have been missing a play-making safety who can create turnovers at will for years. Syracuse’s Andre Cisco could correct that almost instantly. Cisco could play free safety in Atlanta for the next decade and lead the defense to more turnovers and better overall play. He’d bring more size than what the Falcons have had there since Thomas DeCoud left the team.
S Andre Cisco, Syracuse University
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Size: 6’0″, 209 pounds Stats and Awards 2020: 2 Games Played, 11 Tackles, 0.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Interception 2019: 9 Games Played, 65 Tackles, 0.5 Tackles for Loss, 5 Interceptions, 2 Fumble Forced, 5 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown, Second-team All-ACC 2018: 13 Games Played, 60 Tackles, 1.0 Tackle for Loss, 7 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 11 Pass Deflections, ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, First-Team All-ACC
Highlights vs. North Carolina
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Andre Cisco’s biggest strengths are his football intelligence, coverage instincts and ability in man and zone defenses to be in the right spot at the right time. He understands passing route concepts very well and how offenses attack defenses. This helps him when he’s in coverage because he knows exactly what he needs to do to break up the pass or make the play. When it comes to his technique, he has exceptional coverage footwork and knows how to keep positioning well. Cisco has great ball skills as well. He’s excellent at tracking the ball in the air and catches balls as efficiently as a wide receiver. He created 12 interceptions and had 16 deflections over the first two years he started in college and can duplicate that in the NFL. His range is exceptional due to the combination of his intelligence, overall athleticism and flexibility. Cisco can cover from sideline-to-sideline in the deep third. He’s also got the range to drop deep if he’s aligned closer to the line to throw off offenses and disguise coverages. Cisco will provide that deep cover ability that teams need.
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While Cisco is amazing as a pass defender, his run defense leaves a lot to be desired. He’s able to read where the ball will be going, but his angles need a lot of refinement. His tackling is just okay as well. Sometimes he takes guys down with power and technique, and sometimes he straight out misses the tackle. This also hurts him on special teams.
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Cisco was a leader for the Orange in the defensive backs room. He’s a tough-nosed player who’s a willing run defender. He works hard on and off the field and doesn’t ever take plays off. When drafting a guy who’s going to potentially play 1,000+ snaps for a defense, he does everything off the field that a team would want that guy to do.
NFL Stylistic Comparison/Best Case Scenario: Marcus Williams
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After watching Marcus Williams with the Saints the last few years, it’s not shocking that the Falcons would want their own clone. Cisco is a playmaker who can be a competent run defender and provide some value on special teams. He’s going to be a starter for his entire career as a free safety that can lead a defense.
How Cisco would fit into the Falcons’ plans
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The Falcons would likely be able to get Cisco at the top of the third round of the draft. He’d instantly start at free safety and hold down the position for a decade. Cisco has one set of skills that makes him extremely useful, but he’s not going to be a versatile piece to move around. He’s a set role in the scheme. For Atlanta, that’s just fine as the team has a glaring hole at free safety.