Falcons recent draft history is more impressive than fans may realize

NFL: DEC 22 Jaguars at Falcons

If you ask fans, the Falcons haven’t been great in the draft.

Everyone loves revisionist history, especially the 2017 NFL Draft where Atlanta selected Takk McKinley over T.J. Watt, or Sam Baker a decade earlier. It’s easy to have 20/20 vision when looking in the rearview mirror, but the club has actually been decent in recent years.

Since 2018, the Falcons rank tied for second in the league for the largest percentage of draft picks still in the NFL.

That period spans two GMs, Terry Fontenot from 2021 to 2023 and Thomas Dimitroff from 2018 to 2020. Here are how those drafts shook out:

2023 NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft

2020 NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft

As of right now, Fontenot doesn’t have a single selection out of the league, but that could soon change.

The Falcons drafted Jalen Mayfield in the third round of Fontenot’s first cycle as GM, and there’s a strong chance that he and Frank Darby, a seventh-round pick, are the first selections out of the league.

Even Dimitroff’s last three drafts were very productive, in terms of finding NFL-quality football players. There are only four players from that period who are no longer in the NFL — Ito Smith, Jordan Miller, Marcus Green, and Sterling Hofrichter.

It’s not to say those players went on to do great things for the Falcons because the club has had its fair share of struggles in retaining the right players and letting the right ones walk.

Photographer: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire
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