Notorious Falcons first-round pick getting yet another shot in NFL

One of the worst draft picks in Falcons history will get another shot after signing with the NY Jets.
Atlanta Falcons v Houston Texans
Atlanta Falcons v Houston Texans / Mark Brown/GettyImages

Coming off of a crushing Super Bowl loss in 2017, the Atlanta Falcons were looking to fix a position that killed them in the playoff run, and throughout their history—edge rusher.

Then head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff set their sights on a fiery edge rusher out of UCLA. They traded up for Takkarist McKinley who then put on a show on the draft stage in Philadelphia.

Fast forward a few years and that draft pick was utterly disastrous for the Falcons. Not only did they trade up for a player who only registered 17.5 sacks in four years and publicly criticized the team for not trading him, but they also passed on arguably the game's best player at the position—T.J. Watt.

Here we are seven years later and the former Falcon is back in the NFL after signing with the New York Jets.

New York Jets sign former Atlanta Falcons bust Takk McKinley

The New York Jets are in the middle of a concerning situation with their trade acquisition Haason Reddick. It was rumored the former Eagle was looking for a new contract and holding out. He told everyone not to believe that so who knows what the truth is.

What we do know is the Jets are signing Takkarist McKinley to reunite him with former Falcons coach Jeff Ulbrich—the defensive coordinator for Gang Green.

Since leaving the Dirty Birds in 2020, it has been quite the ride for the former Bruin.

He privately requested a trade from Atlanta but ended up getting outright released. The Bengals claimed him off waivers but he failed a physical and the 49ers thought things might go differently... they didn't and he was back on waivers.

The Raiders claimed him and four days later placed him on injured reserve. Later, he was designated to return from IR but the Raiders never activated him.

He went on to join the Browns and actually made a slight impact before tearing his Achilles, landing him back on IR.

In 2022, he joined the Titans practice squad but was signed off their practice squad five days later by the Rams who terminated his contract a month later. One month after that, he linked back up with Dan Quinn in Dallas and re-signed with the Cowboys in the offseason. He didn't even make it to training camp before getting released.

One year later—almost to the day—the Jets are taking a chance on him.

After registering 17.5 sacks in 49 games with the Falcons, Takk McKinley has been either claimed or signed by six teams, played in 15 games, and registered 2.5 sacks. Not sure he made a great decision leaving the team who had a first-round pick invested in him.

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