The Atlanta Falcons had two selections of the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2010s All-Decade that of course was wide receiver Julio Jones and center Alex Mack.
This shouldn’t be news to anyone, but what is news is when you look at who else made the All-Decade and how the Atlanta Falcons missed badly on many of them.
Playing hindsight when it comes to draft misses is low lying fruit. It is always easier to criticize after the fact than realize what the thought was in the moment. However, what becomes evident is that over the last 15 to 20 years under the guidance of Rich McKay and then Thomas Dimitroff is that they routinely miss of positions of need.
An example of this would be in 2010, when the Falcons selected 6-3 receiver Kerry Meier out of Kansas in the fifth round, while 5-10 receiver Antonio Brown lasted until the end of the sixth round. When you go through the list of Falcons draft picks, you see them sticking with “prototypical NFL size” as a measurement and not what film or data tells them.
A few weeks ago, we looked at the offensive lineman drafted by Thomas Dimitroff specifically and many of the linemen he missed on had been named to many of the major college All-American teams. He is looking at name recognition and the scouting department under his watch is seemingly doing the same.
Here are the other draft selections that the Atlanta Falcons missed on when it comes to those that made the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2010s All-Decade. Here the misses from the offensive side of the ball.
- Antonio Brown
- Rob Gronkowski
- Travis Kelce
- Marshawn Lynch
- Jason Peters
- Zack Martin
- Marshal Yanda
- Tom Brady
- Frank Gore
- LeSean McCoy
- Darren Sproles
There are some fairly notable names from the offensive side of the ball. While again it is low hanging fruit to say the Falcons missed on these guys, there are also a few things to keep in mind. One, maybe these guys do not develop into the stars that they are in Atlanta. Though typically, talent tends to shine and separate itself. The ones that really hurt are Jason Peters, Marshal Yanda, and Zack Martin. Having them up front would have made a huge difference in the fact that Atlanta still does not have a title.
Then there is the defense. As we stated early, the Atlanta Falcons passed on nine of the 22 Pro Football Hall of Fame 2010s All-Decade.
- Calais Campbell
- Geno Atkins
- Aaron Donald
- Darrelle Revis
- Richard Sherman
- Eric Weddle
- Chris Harris
- Patrick Willis
- Tyrann Mathieu
When you look at the defensive list, the ones that really hurt are Patrick Willis and Darrelle Revis. The Atlanta Falcons and Thomas Dimitroff took the defensive end, Jamal Anderson, instead of either of those guys. Willis went one more pick after Anderson in the draft.
In the 2011 draft, the Atlanta Falcons took both Akeem Dent and Jacquizz Rodgers while Richard Sherman sat on the board. After Sherman’s Senior Bowl performance and his pro day performances, there was no reason for the Falcons not to call his name in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.
Looking at all these names and realizing how many the Atlanta Falcons truly missed on, we start to understand why the Falcons have been so close over the last 15 years and never been able to finish and hoist the trophy.