Atlanta Falcons: Top 10 all-time draft classes – #8


Today, we continue our “Falcons 50” countdown. Staff writer Eric Robinson has been counting down the Atlanta Falcons’ best ever draft classes, and now moves onto No. 8.

You can find the full list of “Falcons 50” posts here.

The top 10 Falcons draft classes countdown continues, this time with No. 8.

The class as a whole had more misses than hits. As a matter of fact, the group only possessed two players who made significant enough contributions to the team over the course of their careers.

One was a solid playmaker for the team for a handful of years while the other was a recognizable face on the 1998 Super Bowl team and captured the attention of fans everywhere with a dance that swept the nation. Without further ado, let’s dive into #8.

8. 1994 – Notable names: Bert Emanuel, Jamal Anderson

2. Bert Emanuel, WR
3. Anthony Phillips, CB
3. Alai Kalaniuvalu, G
4. Perry Klein, QB
4. Mitch Davis, LB
5. Harrison Houston, WR
7. Jamal Anderson, FB

Then-head coach June Jones selected wide receiver Bert Emanuel with the team’s second round pick and the receiver’s four years in Atlanta were consistent to say the least. Emanuel used his rookie season to post 46 catches, 649 yards, and four scores.

Emanuel topped that performance in 1995 with a 74 catch season for 1,039 yards, and five touchdowns. Emanuel failed to reach 1,000 yards in 1996 but still posted impressive numbers of 75 catches, 921 yards, and six scores.

The 1997 season was Emanuel’s last as he contributed 65 catches, 991 yards and nine touchdowns to the team.

More from Blogging Dirty

The teams’ seventh round pick of 1994 turned out to be arguably their best pick of the entire draft.

Running back Jamal Anderson was an integral part of the 1998 Falcons team that reached the Super Bowl.

As expected for a seventh rounder, Anderson didn’t truly get his NFL legs until his third season in the league when he rushed for 1,055 yards and five scores and also added 473 receiving yards and a touchdown in.

Anderson proved that his third year wasn’t a fluke as he rushed for 1,002 yards and seven TDs the following season.

Anderson took the 1998 season and made his greatest impact, rushing for 1,846 yards and 14 TDs. That season, he also introduced to the world the famous touchdown dance, the “Dirty Bird”.

The former seventh-rounder only produced one more 1,000 yard season in 2000 as he rushed for 1,024 yards and six touchdowns.

What are your memories of Jamal Anderson in a Falcons uniform?