Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders ranked the top 25 prospects for ESPN and one Atlanta Falcon made the list but it’s not who you’d think.
The criteria used by Barnwell means Matt Ryan and Curtis Lofton are not eligible for the list. Hit the jump to see how he decided who was eligible and which Falcon is all upside.
First the criteria as described by Barnwell:
The rules for making our Top 25 Prospects list state that players must meet these criteria:
• Be in the second, third, or fourth year of their pro career
• Have been drafted in Rounds 3-7 or signed as an undrafted free agent
• Have started fewer than five career games in the NFL
• Still be on their rookie contract
So which Falcon met this criteria and was thought well enough to make this top 25 list?
16. Kroy Biermann, DE, Atlanta Falcons
Biermann spent most of last season playing behind Jamaal Anderson. Anderson, who was the Falcons’ first-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, has 2.5 sacks through 44 starts. Biermann started two games last year; he had five sacks. He had more Stops, Defeats, run tackles, and nearly twice as many hurries as Anderson did, all with fewer snaps and a much smaller paycheck. To their credit, the Falcons have recognized this; Biermann will start across from John Abraham this year. Ten sacks would not be out of the question.
Huge, huge praise for the Montana native. I mentioned on Twitter that there is precedent for a quantum leap forward in 2010.
I’ll tell you this – if Biermann reaches 10 sacks – the Falcons defense will be downright scary.