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Brad Hawkins signs undrafted free agent deal with Falcons

May 1, 2022

{{ timeAgo('2022-04-30 20:46:23 -0500') }} football Edit

Brandon Justice • TheMaizeAndBlueReview

Senior Editor

Senior Editor covering Michigan athletics at-large for The Maize Blue Review on the Rivals network. Follow my betting coverage on The Wolverine Den. Trying to be more like Ted Lasso. 25.

Former Michigan safety Brad Hawkins signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent, according to PFF's Doug Kyed.

Hawkins was a fifth-year senior captain for the Wolverines in 2021. The New Jersey native finished with a career-high 60 tackles with two tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

Michigan's three-year starting safety did not receive an invite to the NFL Combine despite eight peers participating in the event. The absent opportunity hindered Hawkins' chances of being a draftee, but as a UDFA, he'll get a chance to impress the Falcons brass.

As one of only three safeties on Atlanta's roster, Hawkins gets a chance to crack a two-deep at high safety, with the competition being Erik Harris Jaylinn Hawkins. After being re-signed by the Falcons, Harris is on a one-year veteran deal despite a season-ending pectoral injury in December. Meanwhile, in his second year as a pro, J. Hawkins recorded just 12 tackles.

Hawkins was a four-star recruit and took a prep year at Suffield Academy (Conn.) by way of Camden High School (N.J.), where he played for four years and graduated.

Here are Hawkins' strengths and weaknesses, according to his NFL.com draft profile.

Strengths

- Tough and scrappy with forceful nature to be physical at all levels of the field.

- Has good bulk on his frame to be aggressive in run support.

- He is aggressive in run support, with a physical mentality, but struggles to break down space and leaves production on the field.

- Strong enough to redirect receivers at the line and camouflage his average speed.

- Takes accurate angles to the ballcarrier.

- A strong, aggressive tackler and doesn't back down against the run.

- Versatile with experience as an in-the-box safety and in-man coverage.

Weaknesses

- Questionable technique and he gets lazy with fundamentals, sometimes getting high in his backpedal and will breach the coverage call seeking flashy plays.

- Opens his hips too early and allows himself to get turned around in coverage.

- Has only average long speed and body flexibility.

- Needs to get stronger.

- Too easily lost in the trash.

- Not a sudden athlete and shows body stiffness when attempting to quickly redirect.Not great in man coverage.

- Does not have elite speed and loses speed/gears down while turning.

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