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A brief history of the 14th pick, ahead of the Falcons 2019 draft

There have been some truly great players drafted at 14 over the years.

Cleveland Browns vs Tennessee Titans

The Falcons currently (though not necessarily on draft night) hold the 14th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. That selection should be able to snag the Falcons a very good player, but you might if yourself wondering if history is on their side in that regard.

Today, we’ll take a look to see whether the 14th selection (which the Falcons have not had in the past nearly 40 years, incidentally) has a history of yielding quality players or not. Let’s go back to 2000, with a few highlights of true greats who were drafted since 1980.

2018: DE Marcus Davenport, Saints

2017: DE Derek Barnett, Eagles

2016: S Karl Joseph, Raiders

2015: WR DeVante Parker, Dolphins

2014: CB Kyle Fuller, Bears

2013: DT Star Loulelei, Panthers

2012: DL Michael Brockers, Rams

2011: DE Robert Quinn, Rams

2010: S Earl Thomas, Seahawks

2009: CB Malcolm Jenkins, Saints

2008: T Chris Williams, Bears

2007: CB Darrelle Revis, Jets

2006: DT Brodrick Bunkley, Eagles

2005: LB Thomas Davis, Panthers

2004: DT Tommie Harris, Bears

2003: DE Michael Haynes, Bears

2002: TE Jeremy Shockey, Giants

2001: T Kenyatta Walker, Buccaneers

2000: TE Bubba Franks, Packers

1996: RB Eddie George, Titans

1989: DE Jaff Lageman, Jets

1983: QB Jim Kelly, Bills

What can we get out of this list, which I followed all the way back to 2000 before just picking a few highlights out from the years past? The trend since 2000 or so has been to take defensive linemen or secondary players at #14, and the NFL has largely been rewarded with great players by making those choices. Brockers, Lotulelei, Quinn, and Jenkins are all good players, while Earl Thomas and Darrelle Revis are two Hall of Famers. Even some of the more recent picks, like Davenport, Barnett and Joseph, could turn into quality players in the near future, and Davenport has the tools to be a star.

In other words, the 14th pick is usually a pretty good spot to be in if you want a quality defender, and that figures to be the case again this year. Typically teams reach for quarterbacks in the top ten—something the Falcons may or may not see this year, depending on whether teams fall in love with Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones—but their chances of getting a player they love in the trenches is very high even if they don’t move.

If the Falcons stay at 14, who do you think they’ll pick?