Recapping the Atlanta Falcons 2020 Draft

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

As the NFL Draft quickly approaches, it seems like the perfect time to start reliving the Atlanta Falcons draft classes from the past ten years. We’ll look into their hits, their misses, who they should have drafted, and a fun fact about every draft class.

This eleven-part series will end with a full recap of the Falcons 2023 draft with information on their picks, how they might impact the team in its upcoming season, and draft grades for the team’s choices as well.

A.J. Terrell (1st – 16th Overall) – After three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, it’s safe to say that A.J. Terrell was a solid first-round choice in the 2020 NFL Draft. He has started 44 games, provided 149 tackles, and 4 interceptions, and was already named to an All-Pro team. It’s fair to say he was the best corner taken in the first round and will be a huge part of the Falcons' secondary this upcoming season.

Marlon Davidson (2nd – 47th Overall) – Unfortunately for the Falcons, their second-round pick had a much smaller impact than Terrell. Marlon Davidson played in only 19 games after being drafted and recorded 28 tackles before being released by Atlanta after two seasons. Seeing impact players such as Jalen Hurts, Trevon Diggs, and Chase Claypool being taken later in the second round must haunt the Falcons already.

Matt Hennessy (3rd – 78th Overall) – After a lackluster second-round pick, the Atlanta Falcons needed to hit it out of the park with their third-round pick. After three seasons in the league, it doesn’t seem like Matt Hennessy will provide that impact. The offensive lineman started two games in 2020, jumped up to 17 in 2021, and then dropped back down to 3 last season.

Mykal Walker (4th – 119th Overall) – Tackles can be a smokescreen within the NFL as linebackers on bad teams tend to rack up more as their defenses struggle to get off the field. Based on last year the hope is Mykal Walker is more than an empty-stats guy and can be an impact player as the Falcons hope to turn their franchise around. After playing in 49 games, racking up 166 tackles and 3 interceptions, Walker will hopefully help new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen this season.

Jaylinn Hawkins (4th – 134th Overall) – Hawkins is a curious case as he had an impactful season last year, but will likely serve as a third safety now that the Atlanta Falcons have signed Jessie Bates in free agency. Hawkins has played in 42 games, contributed 112 tackles, four interceptions, and only allowed 18 receptions in pass coverage. It’ll be interesting to see how the Falcons utilize Hawkins this season and the impact he can have on the defense.

Sterling Hofrichter (7th – 228th Overall) – Hofrichter played in 16 games for the Falcons in 2020, punted six times for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021, and wasn’t on a roster last year. It’s hard to fault Atlanta for this pick considering how hard it can be to find impact players this late in the draft.

Notable Free Agents: There aren’t any superstars in the undrafted free agency pool from this draft, but a few notable contributors help provide some depth for the group. Running back James Robinson looked like a potential superstar after a stellar rookie season in Jacksonville but was traded to the New York Jets last year. Tommy Townsend was a first-team All-Pro, was named to the Pro Bowl, and provided two punts in the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory this season.

Looking further down the group, Tyler Huntley seems to be a high-end backup who could have been a great fit for Arthur Smith’s play-calling. Terence Steele has started 40 games on the Dallas Cowboys offensive line but suffered a torn ACL last season that could impact his availability for this upcoming year.