Zeke Motta to Falcons: How Does Safety Fit with Atlanta?

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIApril 28, 2013

Courtesy Orlando Sentinal
Courtesy Orlando Sentinal

Notre Dame safety Zeke Motta was the second of three seventh-round picks taken by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2013 NFL draft.

He's the second safety that the Falcons drafted over the weekend although he could also end up competing as a linebacker in the NFL.

Motta was part of one of the best college teams in the country this past season at Notre Dame. He has big-game experience and is the kind of intelligent player that the Falcons love to bring in. Atlanta also loves to bring in players who are used to winning.

Motta is versatile and will be able to contribute in a role for Atlanta. It's almost assured that he will not only earn a spot on the roster, but play a key role as well for the Falcons. The question is: Which role does the former member of the Fighting Irish win?


When it comes to his play on the field, people tend to look at the national championship game against Alabama to judge Motta. However, he turned in a great season overall, including a solid showing in the national championship game despite getting blocked out of plays by one of the best offensive lines in the college ranks..

As a run-defender, Motta can read plays effectively and shed blocks well against smaller players like fullbacks and tight ends. However, against offensive linemen, he has a tendency to get washed out.

He is a solid tackler and does a good job in mop-up duties, both on the edge and towards the inside of  formations.

Motta is a different type of beast in pass defense. He's pretty bad as a deep coverage safety and should be relegated to playing a box role. Honestly, he should be moved to linebacker and that would be his best fit because he's a bigger safety at 6'2", 212 pounds.

He could be extremely effective in stopping tight ends in man coverage and does well on special teams.


Motta is the kind of guy who works so hard as a freshman he earns a ton of playing time on special teams and safety. He never had any off hte field issues and was a team captain for the Fighting Irish (h/t his official Irish bio). He should fit right in on the Falcons and will be able to contribute in the locker room as a special teams leader.

The Falcons make sure that they bring in the right guys to help their team. And while Motta may not be an instant starter, he doesn't need to be. He's a good role player and he should make the roster as a third safety and special teams player.


For more information on Zeke Motta, check out Garrett Baker‘s scouting report


All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac and Rotoworld. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.