9) Keanu Neal – 2017
Round 1, Pick 17
Keanu Neal could no doubt be higher on this list, but he held back by his two brutal injuries while with the Atlanta Falcons.
Keanu could have been a perennial pro-bowl player for the Falcons, but he was screwed over by awful injuries.
Neal was one of the main forces on defense for the Falcons in their super bowl run. He put fear into anybody running over the middle.
He was, and probably still is one of the hardest hitters in the league. He can force a fumble at any point during a game. He was an asset for Dan Quinn’s defense, which is why Quinn brought him over to Dallas with him.
It was hard to see him leave the Falcons for such little money, but he was not this coaching staff or front office’s draft selection, so it made sense from that standpoint.
Hopefully, Keanu will be able to stay healthy throughout the rest of his career, because he can be an elite safety again.
8) Russell Gage – 2018
Round 6, Pick 194
Talk about a steal by the Atlanta Falcons.
Russell Gage came out of LSU with a very limited production, but the Falcons saw something in him and they have shown that they were correct.
Gage has consistently gotten better, and been a versatile piece for the team. He will play special teams, he will play inside or outside receiver, and he can even throw the ball down the field on trick plays.
His impact has been obvious, and the Falcons need him now, more than ever with the loss of Julio Jones.
7) Austin Hooper – 2016
Round 3, Pick 81
Another player on this list from the 2016 Falcons draft class that does not get enough credit amongst the NFL.
Hooper, much like Gage, got better every year when he was on the Falcons team. He had a spectacular year that landed him a huge contract with the Cleveland Browns.
He was Matt Ryan’s favorite third-down target two years ago and was a lot of fun to watch.
Ever since leaving the Atlanta Falcons, he has not been as productive, which is another reason Matt Ryan is one of the greats.
6) Foyesade Oluokun – 2018
Round 6, Pick 200
Yet again, another late-round steal for Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons.
Even after Dan Quinn’s departure, the Falcons are still reaping the benefits from selecting this athletic linebacker so late in the draft. How often do you see sixth-round picks do what Foye has been able to do?
He was simply spectacular last season.
He helps out a pretty strong linebacker group for the Falcons going into the 2021 season.