Falcons draft: The 2017 pick we wish would have worked out better
Not a single player from the Atlanta Falcons 2017 NFL draft remains on the roster. Sadly most of them never played meaningful football for the black and red.
Which former Atlanta Falcons draft pick from just four years ago do you wish had worked out?
There is no secret, former Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was terrible at his job. His draft history is riddled with the who’s who of NFL garbage. His draft picks were feast or famine and in most cases, it was famine.
When looking back on this draft class, it is hard not to laugh in amazement at just how bad it was.
- First Round – Takk McKinley
- Third Round – Duke Riley
- Fourth Round – Sean Harlow
- Fifth Round – Damontae Kazee, Brian Hill, Eric Saubert
Yes, the 2017 Atlanta Falcons draft class was worse than you remember
Playing Monday morning quarterback with draft picks from long ago can come off as low-hanging fruit, but we aren’t here to bash just how bad they were but rather we wish things had worked out differently for at least one of these former Atlanta Falcons.
The obvious answer to the original question is Takk McKinley.
Five seasons later, the Atlanta Falcons still have pass-rushing issues and Takk had the talent to change all of that. The problem for Takk seemed to be that he just didn’t care and still doesn’t.
Takk is entering his fifth season and is on his fourth team.
After the Atlanta Falcons outright cut him in November 2020, the Bengals signed him where he failed a physical and was immediately cut. The Raiders then signed him only to place him on Injured Reserve ending his season.
Takk signed with the Browns this past March when free agency opened up across the NFL.
McKinley’s initial burst was first-round worthy. He had no problem getting off the ball but he had issues finishing the process. If “almost sacks” were a stat, he would be second all-time, right behind Vic Beasley, another Atlanta Falcons first-round bust.
For the first three seasons, his work ethic matched that of a freshman trying to play high school football and not someone with first-round NFL talent. Entering his fourth season in the NFL, he seemed to dedicate himself to his craft as he dropped his BMI, put on muscle, and came into camp focused.
When his on-the-field results failed to reflect that work in the first five weeks of 2020, he quit on himself and the Atlanta Falcons. He took to social media in November 2020 to mock the Falcons who in turn cut him less than a week later.
All six of the 2017 Atlanta Falcons draft picks currently remain in the NFL and are hoping to make active rosters for the 2021 NFL season. In addition to Takk being in Cleveland, Duke Riley is in Miami, Sean Harlow is part of the Arizona Cardinals, Kazee joined Dan Quinn in Dallas, Brian Hill is in Nashville and Eric Saubert is seen as a lock to make the Denver Broncos.