Hawkins is the frontrunner to start at free safety for Atlanta, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

It was assumed that last year's starter at the position, Erik Harris, had a leg up on Hawkins because he has four more years of NFL experience to bank on. It's not likely that the Falcons re-signed Harris this offseason just for the 32-year-old to play mentor to his junior Hawkins, so it's most reasonable to expect the two to rotate reps even if the latter ends up being the starter.

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