The three best draft day trades in Atlanta Falcons history
This trade came with some controversy, but the Atlanta Falcons were set on trying to find their franchise quarterback. In the 1975 NFL Draft, they made the move to finally get their quarterback.
The Atlanta Falcons agreed to trade George Kunz, one of the best players on the team, and the number 3 overall pick, to the Baltimore Colts to acquire the number one pick in the 1975 NFL Draft. The Falcons would end up selecting Steve Bartkowski out of the University of Cal.
Trading one of your best players and a high first-round pick to draft a quarterback you hope will turn out ok is a big risk, but in this case, it paid off for the Falcons. Before Matt Ryan joined the team in 2008 and went on his incredible run of production, the measuring stick for greatness at the quarterback position ended with Bartkowski.
He held most of the passing records until Ryan came along and was the quarterback of the first Falcons team to make the playoffs in 1978. Bartkowski was the NFC rookie of the year in 1975 and his other career accolades include two Pro Bowls in 1980 and 1981 and lead the league in touchdown passes in 1980.
Bartkowski would finish fourth in MVP voting in 1980 and there could be a case made he should have won it in 1981 when he had more passing yards and touchdowns than NFL MVP Ken Anderson.
He was not able to help propel the Falcons to a Super Bowl championship, but he was able to help them contend for the playoffs.