One of these is not like the other. (source: YardBarker)

The Falcons' Depth Chart Reinvented

(source: YardBarker)

Selecting a player in the early rounds of the NFL Draft can create a lot of excitement for a team’s fan base. Think Matt Ryan in 2008.

It can also cause great disappointment when that player doesn’t perform up to their draft pick. Think Jamaal Anderson in 2007.

Draft picks make a big splash and get the most coverage, but a lot of long-term starters in the NFL were never drafted. In fact, 36% of the Falcons current 80-man roster are undrafted free agents (UDFAs).

So what would the Falcons depth chart look like if the players were chosen by their draft position alone? I wanted to find out.

Hit the jump to see players not judged by their performance on the field but based solely on their draft position.

Using this method means those undrafted players like Harvey Dahl and Tyson Clabo aren’t on the list. The same goes for specialists Matt Bryant, Michael Koenen and Joe Zelenka.

Having said that, here’s the Falcons depth chart as organized by their draft position.

Bolded names are expected starters in 2010

Position Starter (Drafted) 2nd String (Drafted) 3rd String (Drafted)
QB Matt Ryan (3) Chris Redman (75) DJ Shockley (223)
RB Jerious Norwood (79) Michael Turner (154) Jason Snelling (244)
FB Dan Klecko (117) Ovie Mughelli (134)
WR1 Roddy White (27) Harry Douglas (84)
WR2 Michael Jenkins (29) Kerry Meier (165)
TE Tony Gonzalez (13) Justin Peelle (103) Keith Zinger (232)
LT Sam Baker (21) Will Svitek (187)
LG Justin Blalock (39) Mike Johnson (98)
C Joe Hawley (117) Todd McClure (237)
RG Quinn Ojinnaka (139)
RT Garrett Reynolds (156) Blake Schlueter (225)
Position Starter (Drafted) 2nd String (Drafted) 3rd String (Drafted)
RDE John Abraham (13) Lawrence Sidbury (125)
RDT Jonathan Babineaux (59) Vance Walker (210)
LDT Peria Jerry (24) Corey Peters (83) Trey Lewis (186)
LDE Jamaal Anderson (8) Chauncey Davis (128) Kroy Biermann (154)
WLB Mike Peterson (36) Spencer Adkins (176)
MLB Curtis Lofton (37) Coy Wire (97)
SLB Sean Weatherspoon (19) Stephen Nicholas (109) Robert James (138)
RCB Chevis Jackson (68) Brian Williams (105)
FS Thomas Decoud (98) Matt Giordano (135)
SS William Moore (55) Erik Coleman (143) Shann Schillinger (171)
LCB Dunta Robinson (10) Christopher Owens (90) Dominique Franks (135)

Is it that far off from reality? Thirteen (or 59%) of the expected starters this year were drafted higher than their position counterparts. I found it very interesting to see just how much better (or worse) a player can become regardless of their draft position.

Do you like this bizarro world where draft position decides which players start? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart FanSided NFL Draft

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