Atlanta Falcons best all-time draft picks by round

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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons /

1st Round – Matt Ryan (2008 3rd Overall Pick)

With all due respect to Tommy Nobis, Julio Jones, Michael Vick, Deion Sanders, and Claude Humphrey, the best first-round draft pick ever made by the Falcons was the selection of Matt Ryan.

Say what you want about how he pads his stats and he isn’t clutch or how the team can’t win with him at the quarterback position. At the end of the day, the  Atlanta Falcons have had the most success in franchise history while Ryan has been the quarterback.

Ryan has led the team to a Super Bowl berth, two NFC Championship games, and one NFC Championship. It could easily be noted that if it weren’t for some questionable play-calling, Ryan would have led this team to a Super Bowl victory defeated the best dynasty this league has ever seen.

Ryan owns every major passing record for the Falcons and he is a couple of championships away from being mentioned among the best to play the game because his numbers are already there and will only continue to get better. There is no doubt he is the best first-round draft pick in Falcons history.

Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons /

2nd Round – Chuck Smith (1992 51st Overall Pick)

It was a very hard choice between Deion Jones, who is putting up tackling numbers that are the closest we’ve seen since Jessie Tuggle and Chuck Smith, but it was decided that the latter is the best second-round pick in Atlanta Falcons history.

Smith ranks 2nd all-time in team history in sacks and for a stretch between 1994 and 1999 in which Smith recorded at least 5.5 sacks including three seasons in which he recorded double-digit sacks (11.0 in 1994, 12.0 in 1997 and 10.0 1999).

People might be wondering why Brett Favre was not considered for this. Yes, the Falcons did draft Favre in the second round in 1991, but he did nothing to contribute to any success for the Falcons.