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Falcons once again raided the Senior Bowl for their draft class

Atlanta came away with five players from Mobile for the second straight year.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

When your favorite team hires a new front office and coaching staff, you’re naturally eager to learn as much as you can about their habits and how they intend to be successful. In year two with Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith, we’re slowly learning what they care about and value when building the team.

We also know one thing for certain: If you’re going to pay attention to any one pre-draft event, it should probably be the Senior Bowl.

In 2021, the Falcons took five players from the Senior Bowl among their nine man draft class, winding up with wide receiver Frank Darby, cornerback Darren Hall, outside linebacker Adetokunbo Ogundeji, defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham, and safety Richie Grant.

This year, they took five players from the Senior Bowl among their eight man draft class, nabbing linebacker Troy Andersen, outside linebackers Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone, guard Justin Shaffer, and quarterback Desmond Ridder. It would be fair to say that Atlanta’s going to draw heavily on prospects they see and like from the Senior Bowl, given that the majority of their last two draft classes.

This year, 106 draft picks were featured in the Senior Bowl, making it a showcase a lot of teams are making use of. It’s also worth noting that the Senior Bowl is not the sole place the Falcons saw some of these players, as they showed strong pre-draft interest in Malone and Ridder in particular via pro days, top 30 visits, and the like. What is clear is that the Senior Bowl brings in the kinds of players Atlanta is very interested in, and they are going to draw on what they see in Mobile as they make their selections with this front office.