As the Atlanta Falcons prepare for the 2013 NFL Draft, I figured it would be a good time to examine the history of the position they'll be selecting out of in Round 1. The first time a franchise held pick No. 30 was in 1995, the year Carolina and Jacksonville entered the league. Since then we've seen several Pro Bowl players drafted out of that spot, including one former Falcon that severed as an integral part of the pass rush early in the 2000s.
Take a look at all 18 players selected at No. 30. *Info taken from DraftHistory.com.
|2007||Craig "Buster" Davis||Chargers||1||30||30||WR||Louisiana State|
|2006||Joseph Addai||Colts||1||30||30||RB||Louisiana State|
|2004||Kevin Jones||Lions||1||30||30||RB||Virginia Tech|
|2003||Sammy Davis||Chargers||1||30||30||DB||Texas A&M|
|2001||Reggie Wayne||Colts||1||30||30||WR||Miami (FL)|
|1996||Andre Johnson||Redskins||1||30||30||T||Penn State|
|1995||Craig Powell||Browns||1||30||30||LB||Ohio State|
We all remember Patrick Kerney. He racked up 12 sacks in just his third season with the Falcons in 2001. Finding a impact pass rusher at No. 30 overall looks like it could be a difficult task, but at least we've seen Atlanta do it before.
Only five defensive prospects were drafted out of the 18. The most recent, Muhammad Wilkerson, is coming off a breakout campaign as a sophomore. Pro Football Focus rated him at the second-best defensive end in 2012. More hope for Atlanta.
Of course there have been some busts among the group. Buster Davis suffered a few injuries and ended up out of football by 2011. Sammy Davis, that great American entertainer, lasted five years in the NFL. He now owns the Austin Capitals, which is really a thing. Both players were selected by the Chargers...hmm.
If the Falcons are looking to find a replacement for Tony Gonzalez, the previous two tight ends drafted at No. 30 panned out well. Dustin Keller, well, he played for the Jets, so let's not refer to his stats. But he's solid. Heath Miller is as well.
Whatever you do, Atlanta, do not draft a running back with your first-round pick. And also don't be the Detroit Lions. Glad that's covered. Kevin Jones' run in the pros was brief, and Jahvid Best suffered 68 concussions since entering the league. Joseph Addai, meh.
So there you have it. A few standout stars. A few busts. Nothing off the standard spectrum. Are you feeling any better about the Falcons chances in Round 1? Or are you ready to tell me "yeah this doesn't matter at all"?