The Falcons have had mixed results with their draft classes under the new regime. Thankfully, it seems the first-round picks are all hits. Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson can rival any Big 3 in the league, but it gets a bit murky after that.
Second-rounders Richie Grant, Troy Andersen, Arnold Ebiketie, and Matthew Bergeron have a chance to establish themselves as significant contributors this season. The third-round picks are headlined by the bust of all busts — Jalen Mayfield. Desmond Ridder, DeAngelo Malone, and Zach Harrison seem like they’ll have better careers than Mayfield, but that’s an ugly wart on Terry Fontenot’s resume.
Then, in the later rounds, the Falcons have found gems in Tyler Allgeier, Ta’Quon Graham, Avery Williams, and Clark Phillips. However, some of those early draft classes are quickly dissipating.
As mentioned before, the team has already parted ways with Jalen Mayfield, but he’s not alone. Ade Ogundeji, Frank Darby, and Darren Hall have all moved on; Hall has landed on the Colts practice squad, though, per the Colts team website.
Hall saw action in 31 games since the Falcons drafted him in 2021 out of San Diego State. The fourth-round pick started 10 games in his tenure with Atlanta, totaling 69 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, six passes defended, one force fumble, and one fumble recovery.
Honestly, he wasn’t great, but I thought he did enough to squeeze out a roster spot over the likes of Tre Flowers. The Falcons clearly didn’t feel the same, but it’s encouraging to see this new regime cut bait.
The old regime would hang on to draft picks and free agents too long, despite all the signs pointing to it not working out. At least, the new one recognizes their mistakes and cuts their losses.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire