Do Da Dirty Bird: The Worst Five Falcons Draft Picks of the Decade
If you saw last week's column, you knew this was coming. I mean, it only flows naturally from looking at our best five to peek our worst five.
But something happened along the way to me having a gratuitous number of moles to whack with this slideshow. Maybe I'm just a softie, maybe I let my Falcon fandom sway me too much, but I really had a hard time picking out these guys.
They wore the red and black! They stalked the Dome! They were my boys, for however brief a time.
But the fact of the matter remains: Getting drafted comes with some level of expectation. And getting drafted in the fourth round or higher, as all the men on this list did, comes with a considerable responsibility to at least contribute as a teammate and perhaps a rotational player.
(Dis)honorable mention goes to the man pictured here...
Too soon? You make the call.
No. 5: Jamaal Anderson
Hooray for second, third, and even fourth chances. Otherwise, Anderson would likely not be on the Falcons' roster any more.
He racked up the digits in his years at Arkansas (17.5 sacks for 128 lost yards!) but lacked the same productivity in his rookie season. Totally understandable; we're talking about a massive change of pace upon moving to the NFL, even from the SEC.
But for starting nearly every game at end over two seasons, one would expect a few more than two sacks. Known to disappear for long stretches of games, the eighth overall pick was acting a bit more like the 168th overall pick.
So we moved him to defensive tackle this past year, with middling results. Word is that he'll begin '10 at that spot, which sounds smart to me; he handled a positional switch in college pretty well. But does he really grasp what this team could be playing for?
Just a couple guys we coulda had: Super Bowl hero Tracy Porter or speed demon DeSean Jakcson.
No. 4: Will Overstreet
Dude gets a partial pass considering his lack of production (or even presence) was largely due to injury.
But I've just got to ask: How does a former captain of an SEC powerhouse turn in nine tackles in his NFL career?
He had good burst, killer smarts, and a clean rap sheet. He was versatile as hell at Tennessee, picking off passes, notching a few sacks, and dropping back into coverage on instinct.
But apparently, whether it was his fault or no, his shoulder was not in pro shape. Two years (in which he played just six games) and he called it quits. Just hard to see that from a third-rounder.
Later selections included: Freight train Brian Westbrook or the feared Bart Scott (undrafted!).
No. 3: Jordan Beck
Beck never once started a game, nor did he ever average a tackle per game in his three (more like two, as he didn't play in a regular season contest his rookie campaign) year career.
The thing is, he came out of a school not known for its football (Cal Poly) that was running a semi-obscure defense for the time (flex). Sure, the dude had 20+ tackle games in college, but that was in the Great West (I know, what?) Conference.
He managed to play in 11 games for the Broncos in '07, amassing a titanic 10 tackles.
Other teams got: Star Marion Barber or friggin' Matt Cassel.
No. 2: Martrez Milner
I have a not-so-soft spot in my heart for this fella, who dropped enough passes during my freshman year at the University of Georgia (his last) to fill a swimming pool.
What in the world attracted the Falcons to this guy? He did nothing, I mean NOTHING, in college to deserve a look. Was it his size? No, the only explanation is that our scouts were blinded by those rocks he was known for wearing in his ears.
This guy played in eight NFL games, catching nine passes for 50 yards over that time. If it sounds like over-achievement for him, that's because it was. When he had Matt Stafford (albeit a young one) throwing to him, he just loved to let the rock hit the ground.
How did he manage to hold onto those ducks thrown by Joey Harrington?
Other celebrated nabbing: '09 breakout Brent Celek or at least dudes with cool names like H.B. Blades.
No. 1: Jimmy Williams
By now we have, in all likelihood, learned our lesson about VA Tech players of questionable character. No, one cannot always tell a bad egg upon sight, but before we even took Williams, Vick had been insinuated in a marijuana bust and the whole "Ron Mexico" thing.
Still, we went with the Jack Tatum Trophy winner in the second round, thinking we could pair him with DeAngelo Hall to form a mean cornerback duo. And he did register 24 tackles in 13 games (five starts) as just a rookie.
He had never been particularly disciplined, though, moving from position to position throughout high school and making one switch in college. Apparently, that lack of responsibility carried on off the field as well, as he got busted for pot, suspended and then released within less than a year.
Whoop-de-doo, he got a pick in one of the 11 games he played in during the interim. He's looking for a job now.
After him went: True secondary standout Roman Harper or mighty-mite Maurice Jones-Drew.