In researching the Falcons players who have worn the #12 over the years, I was reminded of guys from several different eras. I was also surprised at my poor memory, because two different players named Chris donned the #12 jersey for the Falcons at different points in time.
Before we get to them, let's recognize some of the "other" guys who have worn the number 12 over the years.
Some kicker named Nick Mike-Mayer wore the number form 1973-1977. Special teamer slash wide receiver Kevin Cone actually wore 12 in 2011. Luke McCown donned the jersey in his one year here in 2012 and Quarterback Sean Renfree wears the number currently. Finally, in 1982 a punter named George Roberts put on the #12 on game day. Three more names have worn the #12 over the years, we'll take a little deeper look at them now.
From 2004 to 2010, wide receiver Michael Jenkins wore the #12 for the Falcons. Drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft at pick 29, Jenkins was a big receiver that the Falcons hoped would become a #1 guy for years. While he would never reach that status, Jenkins was able to carve out a decent role on the team over the years but never quite lived up to his potential. His best season was in 2008, when a rookie QB named Matt Ryan came in and "Jenks" 50 passes for 777 yards and 3 TDs. The writing was on the wall in 2011 when the Falcons drafted Julio Jones, but Jenkins was a decent player whose draft position hurt his perception with others.
In 1987, the Falcons drafted a kid out of Oregon with their first round pick (number 13 overall) by the name of Chris Miller. Between 1987 and 1993, Miller wore the #12 for the Falcons but didn't get his first start until the 1991 season - his best with the team, and the only one in which he went to the Pro Bowl. Miller was another player with potential who never seemed to fully reach it and his career was ultimately cut short by concussions.
Last but not least - and easily the best Falcon to ever wear the #12 - is Quarterback Chris Chandler. Drafted in 1988 in the third round by the Indianapolis Colts, Chandler bounced around the league for several years - playing with the Colts, Bucs, Cardinals, Rams and Oilers before landing with the Falcons in 1997. Between 1997 and 2001, Chandler was the starter for the Falcons and in both 1997 and 1998 made the Pro Bowl. However, fans will remember Chandler most for being the QB of the 1998 team that went 14-2 and would go on to play in Super Bowl XXXIII. Though his career took a bit of a downturn after that season, Chandler did post a 9.65 YPA average in 1998 - the highest of any QB in the 1990s. Chris would eventually be replaced by a young first round pick named Michael Vick, but he remains the only Falcons QB to ever get to the Super Bowl (for now).
As you can see, the #12 has been worn by several notable players through the years. For my money, however, Chandler stands out - with his two Pro Bowl appearances and getting the team to their only Super Bowl appearance.