The last time I gave the Falcons a C-minus, the draft class turned out to be extremely good.
They received a C-minus in 2019 and 2016.
Back in 2016, the Falcon got a C-minus, but safety Kenau Neal, linebacker Deion Jones, tight end Austin Hooper and linebacker DeVondre Campbell all turned into starters and Neal, Jones and Hooper have been to the Pro Bowl as alternates.
The Falcons tried to groom Wes Schweitzer into a guard, but that hasn’t worked out so well and Devin Fuller never blossomed into a return threat after suffering a knee injury.
In 2015, we didn’t give a grade, but wrote this:
“FLOWERY BRANCH -- Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who was re-united with former boss Scott Pioli for the 2015 NFL draft, made a trade and took some gambles as the team stayed true to its "needs-based" drafting strategy over the weekend.
“After getting an edge-rusher and passing on Georgia running back Todd Gurley, they gambled on second-round pick Jalen Collins, who flunked three drug tests at LSU and is a boom-or-bust pick to monitor closely.
“But after that shaky start, the Falcons went on a roll, landing three potential immediate contributors in dazzling running back Tevin Coleman, hard-nosed wide receiver Justin Hardy and disruptive defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.
“Then they tossed a couple of seventh-round projects in the shopping cart in Eastern Washington tackle Jake Rodgers and San Jose State cornerback Akeem King.”
As predicted, the Collins pick didn’t work out. Beasley has not be a “double-digit” sacker that he said would become on draft night. Jarrett has exceeded expectations and Coleman was above average before the team elected not to re-sign him.
Hardy has been a dependable No. 4 receiver and tough special teams player.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.