Every NFL team makes a selection in the draft that they end up regretting down the road, it is not just the Atlanta Falcons who do that.
However, some are worse than others, and some can singlehandedly ruin your team, much like what happened during the 2017 NFL Draft when the Falcons traded up to select a pass rusher but selected the wrong one.
The Falcons made a big mistake taking Takkarist McKinley in 2017
The Atlanta Falcons were coming fresh off of a Super Bowl, a heartbreaking Super Bowl, and they felt they needed to target one area to improve on the team—a pass rusher.
They held the 31st overall pick but they decided they wanted to make sure they could secure their guy, so they traded up five spots with the San Francisco 49ers, and who did they take? Takkarist McKinley out of UCLA.
If there was one thing that Takk did that was truly special, it was his draft speech that showed how much fire he had in him, but unfortunately, that never translated onto the field.
Now here is where the real pain sets in, selected four picks later was none other than T.J. Watt, one of the best pass rushers in the game right now.
To be fair, T.J. Watt did not fit Dan Quinn’s scheme perfectly, but there is no doubt he would have still been extremely productive.
Looking at this past season, Watt was able to tie the NFL record for most sacks in a season with 22.5.
How many sacks did the Falcons have as a team? 18 total, four-and-a-half less than T.J. Watt had by himself.
This is one of the biggest blunders of recent memory, Atlanta traded away picks to acquire a player who never turned out and missed on a player who is one of the best in the game right now at a position they have long been searching for.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but this is still painful, heck people would be happy if they had taken someone else like Tre’Davious White or Ryan Ramsczyk.