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Ten Biggest Atlanta Falcons Draft Busts: Joe Profit

In this series of sponsored posts, we'll be looking at the ten worst and ten best Atlanta Falcons draft picks of all time. Let's start with the worst. Today's choice is former running back Joe Profit.

We now enter the part of our list where draft position has a crucial role to play. That brings us, inevitably, to Joe Profit.

Profit was a first round selection in 1971, going to the Falcons with the seventh pick out of the University of Louisiana-Monroe. With that kind of investment, you'd think Profit would have to be pretty damn close to a lock to provide value, but you would be so very, very wrong.

What I did not realize at the time I wrote this article was that Profit suffered a major knee injury in the fourth week of his first season. As Profit himself noted to me, that kind of injury was catastrophic in the 1970's, and it did indeed cost him his career. I'm appreciative that he's corrected the record.

In his rookie season, he rushed three times for 10 yards and a touchdown. The next year, 40 for 132 and no touchdowns. In 1973, 18 times for 55 yards and two touchdowns. In 1974, he was a Saint, and by 1975, he was out of football. He retired with an anemic 3.5 yards per carry.

It was a colossal failure for a team that was just beginning to grow its reputation for terrible drafting habits. John Riggins went right in front of them and the Falcons just gunned for the next running back they could think of, missing out on future Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood and even a future Pro Bowl running back, John Brockington. Hindsight is, painfully, 20/20, but knowing Profit would be hurt would have been impossible.

Ironically, Profit has been an enormous success in his post-football career, running a profitable (HA!) technology company and holding a doctorate of philosophy. It's good to hear he's done well otherwise, but it doesn't change the fact that for our purposes, Profit is the fourth biggest draft bust of all time for the Atlanta Falcons.

He's also the last offensive player on this list. Weigh in on profit and check out our sponsored message, after the jump.

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