The Atlanta Falcons have made hundreds of draft picks in their 50-plus year history as an NFL franchise. This year, they’re set to make nine more, and I thought it would be fun to look back and see which players they landed with their current slate of picks over the years. As you’ll imagine, it’s most interesting at No. 8, where the Falcons have made four selections in the past 30 years.
If the Falcons don’t move any of these picks, interestingly enough, they’ll be making three of them for the first time ever. Let’s take a closer look at how these picks have shaken out in the past, and which selections the team has never made before.
EDGE Vic Beasley, 2015
DE Jamaal Anderson, 2007
CB DeAngelo Hall, 2004
OT Bob Whitfield, 1992
Four selections in team history, all within the past 30 years. One of them was a massive success, two delivered flashes of greatness in truncated careers in Atlanta, and one was (cue Matthew Chambers) a bust.
Whitfield is a franchise great, having played in 178 games for the Falcons and locking down the left tackle job for nearly a decade. He was a Pro Bowler in 1998, but probably should have received that honor more than once.
Hall had a couple of terrific seasons in Atlanta, earning Pro Bowls nods in 2005 and 2006 and picking off 10 passes over those two years. The incoming Thomas Dimitroff/Mike Smith regime soured on him and shipped him off in 2008, but he’s ninth in team history for career interceptions despite spending just four years in Atlanta.
Beasley, of course, had one huge season, picking up 15.5 sacks and helping key a stronger-than-expected Falcons defense in 2016. While he washed out of Atlanta after five years and currently isn’t on a team, it’s tough not to remember that season fondly, and he’s seventh in team history for career sacks.
Anderson is justly considered one of the worst misses in team history, a top ten pick who finished his career in Atlanta with just 4.5 career sacks.
DB James Britt, 1983
The second round pick played five seasons in Atlanta, serving as a safety and cornerback, and started all 16 games at corner in 1984. He never really lived up to his draft status besides that solid year, but he finished his career with 60 games under his belt, three interceptions, and is still one of just 50 Falcons ever to score a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery.
DB Isaiah Oliver, 2018
One of only two Falcons on this list who is still on the team (thanks for catching this, reader The Hammer Started It). Oliver came into the league hyped by many—yours truly among them—and was slow to live up to his promise. He began showing glimpses of figuring it out in 2020 when Raheem Morris took over as head coach and was downright terrific in 2021 before an injury wiped out most of his season. We’re now left to see whether he picks up where he left off this year, but hey, he’s the greatest No. 58 pick in team history regardless.
WR Jammi German, 1998
One of the many receivers who didn’t quite work out for the Falcons in the early 2000s, he was a highly touted high school star who had just wrapped up a productive career as a deep threat at Miami. German joined the team at the right time to enjoy the Super Bowl run, at the very least, but didn’t quite wind up making a major impact as a receiver. He wound up catching just 13 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns in three seasons in Atlanta, though catching two of those touchdown grabs in the same game from Danny Kannell is no mean feat.
Another player the Falcons drafted later that same year wound up taking on a larger role in the passing game during their shared time in Atlanta. More on him in a moment.
This will be the first time in franchise history the team picks at No. 82, assuming they stand pat with this selection.
C Drew Dalman, 2021
WR Tim Dwight, 1998
LB James Goode, 1991
Oddly enough, the Falcons just made this pick last year, selecting Dalman. The rookie center briefly split time with Matt Hennessy at the position and figures to make a harder push for a starting job this year, but he should at least be a solid reserve in Atlanta.
Dwight should be a familiar name. The hyper-speedy receiver spent three seasons in Atlanta, the finest of which was a 1999 career year that saw him post 669 yards and 7 touchdowns on just 32 grabs. Dwight was also a productive returner, managing three return touchdowns over his three years in Atlanta, and is still a fan favorite for that brief run and his excellence in old Madden games.
Goode had a terrific career at Oklahoma but never wound up playing a regular season game in the NFL. His son Cameron Goode is draft-eligible this year and is attracting attention from the 49ers, among other teams.
TE Mitch Lyons, 1993
DB Martine Bercher, 1967
Lyons joined up as a blocking tight end weighing in at 265 pounds, one who was used sparingly as a receiving option, especially after his rookie season when June Jones became the head coach. He carved out a solid four-year career as a reserve in Atlanta, appearing in 31 games, before ending his career with a three year stint in Pittsburgh.
A legendary safety and returner at Arkansas, Bercher never played an NFL regular season game, with the Falcons or any other team.
If Atlanta holds on to this pick, it will be the first time they’ve made a selection at No. 190.
Again, this is potentially the first time the Falcons will make a pick at 213, but I’d bet pretty heavily on them trading this one away.