The Falcons have not been winning a lot recently, whether on the field, in the draft, or in free agency. One of those things has changed after the Falcons received generally very good draft grades for the 2022 draft class.
The feedback was great from football writers. Some alternative measurements of draft success were positive as well, per analyst Warren Sharp on Twitter.
the Ravens draft was a masterclass in surgically adding players that fell at critical positions...— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 30, 2022
...with the exception of two reaches (forgivable given the amount of capital they had to work with) pic.twitter.com/udlSX6DSke
Sharp compared where a player was selected with where popular mock drafts had those players going. Running those numbers through the ol’ analytics calculator, Sharp compared the perceived value of each selection, giving teams points for selecting players after they are predicted to go, and deducting points for selecting players before they are predicted to go.
You see some consistently good teams around the top of the list, like the Green Bay Packers at 2, Kansas City Chiefs at 3, and Baltimore Ravens at 6. And this time, the Falcons at 10.
The Falcons got high marks for picking up Desmond Ridder in the third round, and avoided any embarrassing reaches, per the data. For instance, grabbing a quarterback at 8th overall just because the team needs a quarterback would have it drop significantly in the rankings.
This is notable as the Falcons have rarely made these lists over the years, likely thanks to Thomas Dimitroff’s always bold but confusing third-round picks (almost certain to be traded to secure a bad player in the first round... or just kept for a bad, small school player in the third round). Dimitroff rarely found value per metrics like these later, either, as he was almost always drafting to fill need versus selecting the best player available.
We won’t know for at least a few years if this was, in fact, a good draft. But if Terry Fontenot keeps making the top of these lists and things pan out the way these lists suggest, the Falcons should find more consistent success.