Atlanta Falcons: Takk McKinley has been more successful than we realize


Last week, the Atlanta Falcons declined to pick up Takk McKinley’s fifth-year option.

On the surface, every Atlanta Falcons fan would agree it was the right move. Upon further look, Takk has been a lot more productive than anyone may have originally thought.

Going back over the defensive ends and outside linebackers that were taken in 2015, 2016, and 2017 NFL drafts, Takk McKinley has been far more productive than most people have realized. Sure, that more than likely means that these drafts were not nearly as deep as once thought, but it also means that Takk is not as big a problem as one might think.

When looking at the 2015 NFL Draft, there were a total of 44 DE/OLB taken. While we are not going to account for all their responsibilities and not all of them rush the passer on every down, only 10 of the 44 draft picks have accumulated more sacks than Takk McKinley, despite potentially playing in 32 more regular-season games.

In the 2016 NFL Draft, there were a total of 40 DE/OLB taken throughout the seven rounds of the NFL draft. Again, just 10 of them have been more productive in their first five years than Takk has been during his four seasons and 21 regular season starts.

But let’s take a look at his 2017 draft. There were 31 DE/OLB taken but only two of them have been better than Takk; Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt. Both of these guys have had more than 30 sacks over their first four seasons.

While Garrett has been the most impressive with his 30 sacks in just 37 games, Takk has had more success than other big names in his draft – names that fans have publicly asked the team to consider.

Players like Taco Charlton, Carl Lawson, Jonathan Allen, and Derek Barnett have all been much less successful than Takk McKinley has been.

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While we would all love to see Takk be more successful in finishing plays and getting to the quarterback, he definitely has not been a bust when compared to other players at his position. The Atlanta Falcons made the right call to decline his fifth-year option, but he is not someone the Falcons should walk away from just yet.