The Atlanta Falcons struck gold when they picked Deion Jones with the 52nd pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. The 51 players taken ahead of Jones haven’t gone on to become the NFL’s best coverage linebacker; only Jones has that honor. So when the Falcons decided to pick Duke Riley with the 75th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, none of us were really surprised. We spent the days and weeks that followed comparing Jones with Riley, highlighting all the similarities in their stories.
This post on Reddit got me thinking. Why are the Falcons so fond of LSU prospects? Since 2002, the Falcons have drafted six players out of LSU: Duke Riley, Deion Jones, Jalen Collins, Chevis Jackson, Keith Zinger, and Chad Lavalais. Only Riley and Jones are on an NFL rosters, but still. That’s a lot of players from one school over a relatively short period of time. Maybe it’s something in the Baton Rouge public water supply, or maybe it’s just a coincidence.
The Falcons have actually taken 12 players out of LSU since their founding. The first player they drafted out of LSU was Brad Davis, a role playing, undersized running back the Falcons took in the 9th round of the 1975 NFL Draft. (He only played in four games over two seasons and never meaningfully contributed as a pro.) As for LSU prospects the Falcons could realistically pick in this year’s draft, don’t be surprised in the Falcons take a gander at cornerback Donte Jackson on day two if he’s available.
So what’s the significance of all this? Well, to be frank, it isn’t all significant. Just something interesting to take note of. So take note. Carry on, Falcoholics.