What can be said about the jersey number than has given us such memories as Zeke Motta, Sean Thomas, Richard Williams, Brenard Wilson, Dennis Woodberry, Alton Montgomery, and Lenny McGill?
As of recent, 22 has given us Chevis Jackson, one year of Jacquizz Rodgers, two seasons of Asante Samuel, and the aforementioned Zeke Motta.
Despite 17 players wearing 22, there are slim picking through the bulk of the players.
John Mallory (1969-1971) seems to deserve an honorable mention. Mallory looked to be a competent special teamer and strong safety, with some decent punt returns and a few special team touchdowns.
Gerald McBurry (1999-2003) gets an honorable mention, despite starting only 13 games in 15 seasons, but is another uninspiring player.
While Atlanta got Asante Samuel (2012-2013) on the end of his career, his contributions in 2012 should not be overlooked, and what he did to get Atlanta to the NFC Championship. In only 15 games, he had an impressive 5 interceptions and 1 touchdown, and was a pretty impressive corner. His biggest problem was it was all over in 2013, after he was consistently injured and played poorly.
Rolland Lawrence (1973-1980) may have been on the team before many of us were alive, but he clearly deserves the nod. Lawrence played his entire career in Atlanta, reached a Pro Bowl and a First-Team All-Pro selection. While DeAngelo Hall managed 24 interceptions for the Atlanta Falcons, Lawrence got 39 in an extra two seasons. Lawrence still holds the record for most career interceptions with the Falcons. He was also a pretty good punt returner, and did it all in Atlanta.
Congrats to Lawrence, easily the best #22 Falcon ever. How many guys are able to hold down one side of the field when Jerry Glanville blitzes everyone else on defense and half of the fans? Not many, but Lawrence did some impressive things in Atlanta.