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MATH: Falcons Have Been NFL Draft Overachievers Since 2000

Cold, Hard Football Facts, one of the finest NFL stats sites, has ranked all 32 NFL teams over the past decade by draft acuity. The New England Patriots take the top spot, of course, and the Detroit Lions join the Washington Redskins (and our good friends in Tampa Bay) at the bottom, of course. Here's their writeup on the Atlanta Falcons, who rank in the top five somehow:

Pro Bowlers: 6 (t-16th)

Draftees Active in 2010: 42 (t-9th)

Players with 50+ Career AV: 5 (t-2nd)

Players with 20+ Career AV: 22 (t-1st)

Best Pick: QB Matt Schaub (3rd round, 2004)

Worst Pick: CB Jimmy Williams (2nd round, 2006) 

Summary: The Falcons drafted three Pro Bowlers at QB (Schaub, Michael Vick, Matt Ryan), plus Roddy White and Alge Crumpler, but are still looking for an impact pass rusher - of their 13 picks on the defensive line, no one has more than 18 career sacks.    

Praise of that Schaub pick, which proved to be a great selection, must be tempered by the fact that he achieved his Pro Bowl with the Houston Texans, and Vick as well quarterbacks another team now. Still, this goes to show how good the past few drafts have been, and that even the Jm Mora-Rich McKay years involved a few big hits that offset more misses than you'd think.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.