Atlanta Falcons: Top 10 All-Time Draft Classes – #2


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. 2.

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

The No. 2 draft class in our “Falcons 50” top 10 countdown may look… different. This is because it is led by one man. However, that one man may arguably be the best player in Falcons history. Enough of the small talk. Here’s No. 2:

2. 1989 – Notable names: Deion Sanders

1. Deion Sanders, CB/KR/PR
1. Shawn Collins, WR
2. Ralph Norwood, OT
3. Keith Jones, RB
6. Troy Sadowski, TE
7. Undra Johnson, RB
8. Paul Singer, QB
9. Chris Dunn, LB
11. Greg Paterra, RB
12. Tony Bowick, NT

I know what you’re thinking. How can I possibly place an entire class at No. 2 that has only one player with significant impact. I get it. However, Primetime wasn’t just a player; he was more than just a draft pick for the Falcons. Sanders gave life to the team and the city of Atlanta.

Check out Sanders’ stat line from his rookie season: five INTs, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 39 tackles, 307 punt return yards, 1 TD and 725 kick return yards.

Sanders followed up his rookie season with a second year that was nothing to frown at as well. 50 tackles, three INTs, 250 punt return yards and 1 TD and 851 kick return yards.

Primetime posted career highs in INTs (7 in 1993), tackles (66, 1992), kick return yards (1,067, 1992), kick return touchdowns (2, 1992) including three Pro Bowl seasons and two seasons first-team All-Pro honors while playing for the Falcons.

It is also worth noting that out of Sanders career total of 53 INTs, 24 of them came while a Falcon. While making 493 career tackles, 238 of them came as a Falcon. Out of 10 career forced fumbles, seven were manufactured while, you guessed it, playing in Atlanta.

As odd as it may seem that the Falcons No. 2 all-time draft class is essentially one player, in my opinion, this one player escalated the Falcons as a whole when he played. Deion Sanders has a firm spot when it comes to historic Atlanta Falcons.