Falcons Drafting Is Better Than Ever

As training camp approaches for the Atlanta Falcons (check out the full 2017 Atlanta Falcons training camp schedule), most of you are salivating, waiting to get your first looks at the new rookie draft class:

  • DE Takk McKinley (UCLA)
  • LB Duke Riley (LSU)
  • G Sean Harlow (Oregon State)
  • DB Damontae Kazee (San Diego State)
  • RB Brian Hill (Wyoming)
  • TE Eric Saubert (Drake)

John Fricke, however, examined every Falcons draft class…

The Falcons, like most NFL teams, have a mixed history in the NFL draft. There have been truly great picks, really bad picks (Bruce Pickens, Aundray Bruce, Jamaal Anderson.. no, the other one). Sadly you could argue the best player the team ever drafted was Brett Favre (2nd RD/#33 overall 1991). One of only 3 Hall of Fame players ever drafted by the Falcons – Favre threw 4 passes in his Falcons ‘career’ and completed none. He was then traded to Green Bay for a pick that became RB Tony Smith (different blog about the ‘Worst Trade In Falcons History’).

After inconsistent draft results over the past 10-15 seasons (2012 Peter Konz, Lamar Holmes bust of an entire class was the low point, but also due in some part to what the Falcons gave up to draft Julio Jones the year before) the club has found its groove after hiring Dan Quinn to become the new head coach. Quinn has worked along side GM Thomas Dimitroff and Assistant GM Scott Pioli to lock down the drafting process. Of the 13 picks in those seasons, 12 remain with the club and 9 have been major contributors, if not stars.

With that said, just a few thoughts as I was picking through the Falcons drafts through the years. You might not agree (that’s fine, just my opinion). Please feel free to comment, make the case for others who belong on these lists. Here is what I came up with.

The 5 Best Dan Quinn Draft Picks
—————————————-

  • Vic Beasley (1st RD/#8 overall 2015)
  • Keanu Neal (1st RD/#17 overall 2016)
  • Deion Jones (2nd RD/#52 overall 2016)
  • Grady Jarrett (5th RD/#137 overall 2015)
  • Tevin Coleman (3rd Rd/#73 overall 2015)

The 5 Best QB Draft Picks
——————————-

  • Matt Ryan (1st RD #3 overall 2008) – With his MVP last season this debate is now over.
  • Steve Bartkowski (1st RD/#1 overall 1975)
  • Michael Vick (1st RD/#1 overall 2001)
  • Chris Miller (1st RD/#13 overall 1987)
  • Matt Schaub (3rd RD/#90 overall 2004)

The 5 Best Non-QB Offensive Draft Picks
————————————————-

  • WR – Julio Jones (1st RD/#6 overall 2011)
  • WR – Roddy White (1st RD/#27 overall 2005)
  • OL – Mike Kenn (1st RD/#13 overall 1978)
  • C – Jeff Van Note (11th RD/#262 overall 1969)
  • RB – Gerald Riggs (1st RD/#9 overall 1982)

The 5 Best Defensive Draft Picks
—————————————-

  • DB – Deion Sanders (1st RD/#5 overall 1989) – The best corner in the history of the NFL / Hall of Fame
  • DL – Claude Humphrey (1st RD/#3 overall 1968) Hall of Fame
  • LB – Tommy Nobis (1st RD/#1 overall 1966)
  • DL – Chuck Smith (2nd RD/#51 overall 1992)
  • LB – Keith Brooking (1st RD/#12 overall 1998)
  • ** LB – Jessie Tuggle (Undrafted 1987) Amazing he was undrafted.

All Time Best Picks / Offense
———————————–

  • OL – Bob Whitfield (1st RD/#8 overall 1992)
  • OL – Bill Fralic (1st RD/#2 overall 1985)
  • OL – RC Thielemann (2nd RD/#36 overall 1977)
  • OL – Mike Kenn (1st RD/#13 overall 1978)
  • C – Jeff Van Note (11th RD/#262 overall 1969)
  • TE – Alge Crumpler (2nd RD/#35 overall 2001)
  • RB – William Andrews (3rd RD/#79 overall 1979)
  • RB – Gerald Riggs (1st RD/#9 overall 1982)
  • RB – Jamal Anderson (7thRD/#201 overall 1994)
  • WR – Roddy White (1st RD/#27 overall 2005)
  • WR – Julio Jones (1st RD/#6 overall 2011)
  • WR – Michael Haynes (7th RD/#166 overall 1988)

All Time Best Picks / Defense
————————————

  • DL – Vic Beasley (1st RD/#8 overall 2015)
  • DL – Chuck Smith (2nd RD/#51 overall 1992)
  • DL – Jonathan Banineaux (2nd RD/#59 overall 2005)
  • DL – Claude Humphrey (1st RD/#3 overall 1968)
  • LB – Tommy Nobis (1st RD/#1 overall 1966)
  • LB – George Kunz (1st RD/#2 overall 1969)
  • LB – Keith Brooking (1st RD/#12 overall 1998)
  • LB – Patrick Kerney (1st RD/#30 overall 1999)
  • DB – Deion Sanders (1st RD/#5 overall 1989)
  • DB – Desmond Trufant (1st RD/#22 overall 2013)
  • DB – DeAngelo Hall (1sr RD/#8 overall 2004)
  • DB – Scott Case (2nd RD/#32 overall 1984)
  • PK – Nick Mike-Mayer (10th RD/#248 overall 1973)
  • P – Matt Bosher (6th RD/#192 overall 2011)
  • RT – Deion Sanders (1st RD/#5 overall 1989)
More from John Fricke
Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Atlanta

Watch Dukes & Bell Live
Taz Goes Big With A New Daily Show!
Haunted Historical Sites In The South

Watch & Listen LIVE