Atlanta Falcons: Top 10 All-Time Draft Classes – #1


Today, we continue our “Falcons 50” countdown. Staff writer Eric Robinson has been counting down the Atlanta Falcons’ best ever draft classes, and now reveals the No. 1 selection.

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

We have arrived at No. 1 on our Falcons 50: Top 10 all-time draft classes. This class possessed a player who was dearly loved Falcons fans near and far as well as fans of the game itself. The leader of this class brought a different, exciting dynamic to the game of football.

A dynamic full of speed, pizzazz, and talent that left you breathless on most Sundays. Instead of just leaving you guessing, here’s the No. 1 draft class in Atlanta Falcons history.

1. 2001  – Notable names: Michael Vick, Alge Crumpler, Roberto Garza, Kynan Forney

1. Michael Vick, QB
2. Alge Crumpler
4. Roberto Garza, OG
4. Matt Stewart, LB
5. Vinny Sutherland, WR
6. Randy Garner, DE
7. Corey Hall, DB
7. Kynan Forney, OG
7. Ronald Flemons, DE
7. Quentin McCord, WR

The 2001 class set a foundation for the Falcons for half a decade at least. It all began with the drafting at first overall, in my opinion the most beloved player in Falcons history, Michael Vick. The selection of Vick created buzz, uplifted excitement, and ignited the spirits of Falcons fans everywhere.

Vick provided six seasons of football for Atlanta that had defenders on their toes constantly and fans on the edge of their seats.

“Vick provided six seasons of football for Atlanta that had defenders on their toes constantly and fans on the edge of their seats”

Vick initially started off behind longtime veteran Chris Chandler, appearing in only eight games during his rookie season. However, he won the starting job the next season and ended the year with 2,936 passing yards, 16 TDs, eight INTs to go along with 777 rushing yards and eight scores.

Two games that stoodout during Vick’s second year was the overtime win on the road in Minnesota where he rushed 46 yards for the winning score, as well as his epic playoff win on the road at Green Bay as the Falcons defeated the Packers, 27-7, to give them their first ever home playoff loss.

As a Falcon, Vick earned a 38-28-1 record as a starter, 11,505 passing yards, 71 TDs, 52 INTs, 3,859 rushing yards and 21 TDs. He was voted to three Pro Bowls. For his six seasons in Atlanta, Vick provided the team and the fan base hope. For your viewing pleasure, enjoy the moments provided by Mr. Vick.

The 2001 class also provided a target for Vick in the form of TE Alge Crumpler. The tight end out of UNC had a career year in 2005 with 65 catches, 877 yards and five TDs. Crumpler played seven seasons in Atlanta, amassing 316 catches for 4,212 yards, and 35 TDs. Crumpler was voted to the Pro Bowl four times as a member of the Falcons.

OL Roberto Garza was a fourth round pick out of Texas A&M-Kingsville. Although Garza played only four seasons in ATL, he started 31 of 52 games played.

OG Kynan Forney was selected in the seventh round out of Hawaii and played seven seasons as a Falcon, starting 89 of 95 games played including three straight seasons (2003-2005) where he started 48 straight games.

The class had a few hits here and there, but it is ultimately made by the presence of Vick. Vick’s tenure as a Falcon had an ugly ending, but there’s no doubt that he left a ton of lasting moments for longtime Falcons fans to reminisce.

Next: Falcons 50: Full countdown