Falcons’ next man up: C.J. Goodwin

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: C.J. Goodwin #29 of the Atlanta Falcons breaks up a pass intended for Dion Lewis #33 of the New England Patriots in the third quarter during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: C.J. Goodwin #29 of the Atlanta Falcons breaks up a pass intended for Dion Lewis #33 of the New England Patriots in the third quarter during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

With cornerback Jalen Collins suspended for the first 10 games, the Falcons will turn to C.J. Goodwin to take over the fourth cornerback spot.

Goodwin, a former college basketball player and converted wide receiver, made the team last season as a special teams player. He played in 14 games and made one start.

The Falcons are hoping Goodwin can make a big jump in his second year as a cornerback. He was already working with the second-team as the Falcons had to be anticipating the news on Collins, who was working with the third team.

“One other corner that has jumped out to me so far and I thought he was making progress last year is C.J. Goodwin,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said on Wednesday. “For sure, he’s one that we counted on. He made the team as a special teams player first and then through injuries, him and Jalen Collins really jumped in quickly and both of them answered the bell.”

Goodwin, 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, played 16 plays on defense and 23 on special teams in Super Bowl  LI. He had two tackles and one pass breakup.

“Goodwin, to me, I know he’s going into his third year technically in the NFL, but it’s his second year as a defensive player, so I’m hopeful that jump we talked about, going from year one to year two, that’s the jump I hope he’ll make,” Quinn said.

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