Overreaction (?) Tuesday: The 2017 Draft was one of the deepest in history and the Falcons flunked it

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In the wake of Terry Fontenot being hired in Atlanta, I got to thinking about how impressive the New Orleans Saints drafted — especially in 2017. While they choked in the playoffs again and didn’t do anything with it, they still did everything in their power to put Drew Brees in an ideal situation to win during the twilight of his career. The AFC Playoffs over the weekend was littered with quarterbacks from the 2017 Draft, and while Atlanta wasn’t in position (or didn’t need) a QB at the time, there were so many impact players selected all over the board.

The Falcons got none of them.

I wrote over a year ago about how poorly Atlanta did in the 2017 NFL Draft. The most notable gaffe was Takk McKinley over TJ Watt, and it hurt even more that I was so sure we had made a move for Watt. Excuse me, three-time All-Pro & 2020 NFL sacks Leader TJ Watt. Not only did Atlanta whiff, so many great players were taken at positions that they have struggled with. Let’s take a look at who was picked in that 2017 class. This was undoubtedly a turning point for this franchise coming off of a Super Bowl appearance, and it likely cost Dan Quinn & Thomas Dimitroff their jobs.


DE Myles Garrett

S Jamal Adams

WR Mike Williams

RB Christian McCaffrey

QB Patrick Mahomes

CB Marshon Lattimore

QB Deshaun Watson

LB Haason Reddick

S Malik Hooker

CB Marlon Humphrey

DE Jonathan Allen

CB Adoree Jackson

TE OJ Howard

TE Evan Engram

S Jabrill Peppers

CB Tre’Davious White (One Pick After Takk)

TE David Njoku


OT Ryan Ramczyk

S Budda Baker

RB Dalvin Cook

S Marcus Williams

LB Tyus Bowser

RB Joe Mixon

IDL Dalvin Tomlinson

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

RB Alvin Kamara

WR Cooper Kupp

WR Chris Godwin

RB Kareem Hunt

CB Shaq Griffin

S John Johnson III

CB Cam Sutton

WR Kenny Golladay

TE Jonnu Smith

EDGE Trey Hendrickson

RB James Conner

S Eddie Jackson

EDGE Carl Lawson

RB Tarik Cohen

RB Jamaal Williams

RB Wayne Gallman

RB Marlon Mack

TE George Kittle (Nine picks after Sean Harlow)

CB Desmond King (Two picks after Damontae Kazee)

RB Aaron Jones (Same round as Brian Hill, picked after)


FB/IDL Patrick Ricard, RB Austin Ekeler, RB Matt Breida, K Younghoe Koo


Think about Atlanta’s team needs at the time. Secondary, EDGE, running back, and tight end were all addressed by the Falcons. The players they selected were social media star Takk McKinley, Duke Riley, Sean Harlow, Brian Hill, Damontae Kazee, and Eric Saubert. After this year’s free agency, none of these guys may be on the roster. It always sucks to flunk a draft, but flunking one you absolutely had to nail after blowing a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl stings even more. It’s fair to say this draft class is the primary reason the Falcons are now potentially looking at a total rebuild four years later.







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