The Falcons first back to back winning seasons occurred in 2009-2010.

Atlanta Falcons 2018 Draft Grade: B

The Falcons still need a guard, so naturally they draft another weapon for Matt Ryan in WR Calvin Ridley.  He carried a late first round grade, so in a vacuum it wasn't bad. We really liked their next three picks in CB Isaiah Oliver, who is probably viewed as Robert Alford's replacement.  DT Deadrin Senat is also an underrated player who should be a rotational player in 2018.  RB Ito Smith is the heir apparent to Tevin Coleman in 2019. 

Atlanta Falcons Draft Grade: B-

There is one thing that we've learned, and that is that great coaches can make average players into stars. See e.g. the Patriots and Packers. On the other hand, bad organizations can make great players look ordinary. See e.g., the Browns and Jets. We may need to add the Falcons to the list of the former teams, as Dan Quinn looks like he might be the best defensive mind in the NFL.  In the post-season the Falcons defense helped them beat Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, and then dominate Tom Brady for three quarters. Quinndalf has taken low and high draft picks on defense and made them all look like Pro Bowlers.  We weren't wild about DE Takk McKinley in the first, but we have confidence Quinndalf can develop him.  Fourth round cornerback Damontae Kazee was in our top 50 players and we predicted back in March that the Falcons might take a chance on Deion Jones 2.0, fellow LSU alum LB Duke Riley.  G Sean Harlow doesn't look like a day one starter, so the Falcons still have an issue at guard which we think they should have addressed in the third. Fifth round RB Brian Hill is an excellent, physical runner, but he was one of the worst pass blockers we've ever scouted.  That is something that can be taught (we think) and if he can do that he could be Devonta Freeman's replacement in 2018.

Atlanta Falcons 2016 Draft Grade: D

The Falcons had the most successful run in franchise history between 2008 and 2012, but it's been back to reality since then.  The decline started when the Falcons traded away multiple high picks to draft Julio Jones in 2011.  Jones has been a great player, but the overall talent has disappeared and the Falcons have been floundering since 2012.  2016 was no different.  The Falcons front office keeps trying, unsuccessfully, to be smarter than everyone else.  They draft based on height, weight and speed instead of college production and it is driving the franchise back into the dirt.  The Falcons could have had Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland with their first two picks and instead wind up with 2nd-3rd round safety Keanu Neal in the first. Deion Jones is undersized, but he can run.  Austin Hooper was decent pick but then they drafted G Wes Schweitzer in the 6th.  The NFL Network didn't even have tape to show on him. The Falcons brass continue to argue on local talk radio that adding to the pass rush isn't a priority.  Ugh.

Atlanta Falcons 2015 Draft Grade: C+

The Falcons continue to try and gain the crown of the NFL's worst front office and they're making a strong run at it. At least they got their first round pick right.  Defensive end Vic Beasley should produce several years of double digit sacks.  The knock on him is his lack of interest in the run game.  If someone can light a fire under him he should earn some Pro Bowls.  After that is where the Falcons went off the rails.  They have the worst offensive line in the NFL.  Jake Mathews graded out as an average Canadian Football League player as a rookie and the only positively graded lineman on their roster, Justin Blalock, was cut.  In the second round they had a shot at Jake Fisher, who we had graded higher than Jake Mathews, and they take a cornerback with a drug problem who only started 10 games in college?  Oh the humanity! Corner is one of the only positions on the defense they didn't have a glaring need.  We like running back Tevin Coleman and wide receiver Justin Hardy, but again no offensive line help.  Grady Jarrett was a good value in the 5th.

UDFA most likely to make the team:Kevin White- CB, TCU

Atlanta Falcons 2014 Draft Grade: C

We need to teach a class called Drafting 101.  It will be very simple.  If you understand this concept you will receive an "A", unlike the Falcons.  It is very rare for a player who didn't produce much in college to get better as a pro.  Pundicators are always saying, "He will be a better pro than he was in college."  They are almost always wrong.  Ra'shede Hageman looks the part, but he never produced 40 tackles in a season in three years at Minnesota.  He mustered only 10 sacks over that three year period.  He's not going to get better with NFL coaching.  He's probably a starter at end in Atlanta's new 3-4, but he wasn't a difference maker in college so don't go blue holding your breath.  The Falcons' defense has been bad for a long time and their glaring need was a pass rusher, yet they passed on first round talent and all-time Georgia Tech sack leader Jeremiah Attaochu?  And then selected late round safety Dezmen Southward in the third?  Back to back brutal picks.  Southward has the same draft profile as Hageman: looks like Tarzan plays like Jane.  The Falcons are trying to make mountains out of molehills which is fine in the late rounds, but not that early.  They also did nothing to address the loss of Tony Gonzalez.  As it stands his replacement is last year's fourth round pick Levine Toilolo who wasn't even the best tight end on his college team.  There's a downgrade and then there's Gonzalez to Toilolo which is a sheer cliff.  Jake Matthews was a good, not great pick at #6 overall.  He's not an elite athlete and we never like the "safe pick" monicker but he should be a steadying force at a position where the Falcons have struggled for years.  The Falcons did well in the middle of the draft nabbing productive but slow linebackers in Tyler Starr, Prince Shembo and Yawin Smallwood and productive but small linebacker Marquis Spruill.  We think undersized CB Ricardo Allen is a potential sleeper and RB Devonta Freeman might be a starter in 2014 if Steven Jackson gets cut or hurt.

UDFA most likely to make the team: Jacob Pederson- TE, Wisconsin