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Who Have Been the Best 55th Picks in the Last Five Years? A look at 2008

If you have been concerned the Falcons could find an elite player when they have to wait until pick 55, rest assured. As we move through the years you'll find plenty of excellent, and mediocre players available. At the end of the day it's all about scouting, and lately Atlanta haven't been bad at finding solid players.

"With the fifty-fifth pick in the 2008 NFL Draft the Baltimore Ravens select- Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers"

There were three probowlers taken in the second round in 2008- running backs Matt Forte and Ray Rice, as well as wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Baltimore did a fantastic job scouting and identifying Rice's talents at a time they were looking to find their next #1 RB.

A two-time probowler, and two-time all-pro Rice has found his niche as one of the most dynamic tailbacks in the NFL. He's rushed for over 1,200 yards in each of the last three seasons, which were his only three years as a full time starter. There's no denying the Ravens hit this one out of the park.

It should have been: No-one... Baltimore made the right pick

Still only 25 years old Rice is the heartbeat in the Ravens offense. If they can find a way to get their passing game working with some solid receivers this team will be near unbeatable. Some may say that lack of a dynamic WR hurts the Ravens, and as such DeSean Jackson should have been the pick- but personally, I'm taking a 1,200 yard rusher and 700 yard receiver in the backfield over an elite WR.

Could the Falcons go in the same direction?

Conventional wisdom would say the Falcons wouldn't dare take a running back with the 55th pick, however there's a player who could be available who reminds me a lot of Rice; that's Virginia Tech RB David Wilson, slated to be a selection on Friday night. Michael Turner is 30 years old now, and while there are more pressing needs Wilson could be the BPA.

On Monday we'll look at the 2009 draft, as we hurtle towards Thursday and Friday night

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