Atlanta Falcons last 8th overall pick was a bust to be remembered

Nick Halden

It wasn’t that long ago that the Atlanta Falcons held the 8th overall pick in the draft in need of a pass rusher. The exact situation facing Atlanta this off-season happened in 2015 when the Falcons made a memorable mistake in the draft.

In need of a pass rusher and sitting in 8th Atlanta chose to draft Vic Beasley Jr. out of Clemson to be the answer to their pass-rushing woes. Beasley was picked in favor of Todd Gurley, Marcus Peters, and Bud Dupree all of who would prove to be impact players who were picked close behind Beasley.

Vic was the second pass rusher off the board after the Jaguars picked another familiar name in Dante Fowler Jr. third overall.  Beasley was brought in expected to help the Atlanta rush and outside of one impressive season quickly proved he wasn’t going to be the answer.

The Atlanta Falcons reached for Beasley attempting to fix pass-rushing issues still plaguing Atlanta

As great as the Falcons have been at times under Matt Ryan the one thing they always seem to be lacking is an elite edge rusher.  Since the Falcon’s all-time sack leader John Abraham retired Atlanta has been left searching for an answer at the edge position.

In fairness to Beasley, he did have a great season in his sophomore year sacking the quarterback a league-leading 15.5-times.  However, it was an outlier of a season that Beasley followed with four years of mediocrity that would eventually push him out of the league.

Beasley may be a pick of the previous regime, however, he is a cautionary tale to the new front office.  Atlanta cannot reach for a pass rusher in this draft despite it being the most obvious position Atlanta needs to address.

Whether it is attempting to trade up, to draft one of the two elite pass rushers in this draft, or taking the best player on the board regardless of position Atlanta must approach this carefully. Beasley serves as a cautionary tale as to what happens when you reach for a position that isn’t the best on the board.

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