We’re back guys, this time we’re going to break the hearts of the Atlanta faithful. I know it seems soon after having your backs broken in the college championship game by Alabama and being bounced from the playoffs by the Eagles, ending their chance at a Super Bowl redemption. But we’re going to do it anyway.
Honestly, this one was tough because Atlanta has actually drafted pretty good players over the last decade or so. But I found what I’m willing to consider a heartbreaking selection in the form of 2008’s 21st overall pick, offensive tackle Sam Baker.
I went with Baker for a couple of reasons, one of which was how much Atlanta gave up to move up and select him, two 2nd round picks (34th and 48th) and a 4th rounder (103rd). That’s a lot of draft capital for a player who only started a full season twice in his career. His rookie year he played in 5 games, he played in 4 during the 2013 season, and missed the entire 2014 season. He was released after that and hasn’t played since.
Another reason I went with Baker is because of who they could have drafted, one player at the same position was available and has been much more reliable, Duane Brown. Had he been the pick when they traded up they would have paired rookie QB Matt Ryan with his tackle of the future. Had they stayed put they would have been able to draft two of the following players who were still available, Jordy Nelson, Matt Forte, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles, and Martellus Bennett. Giving the new face of the franchise multiple weapons to develop with.
To make matters even worse, since Baker wasn’t the answer at tackle, the Falcons were forced to address the position again in 2014 when they picked Jake Matthews 6th overall. Had Baker panned out, or they had selected Duane Brown they would have had their pick of some pretty impressive players such as Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr, Anthony Barr, Aaron Donald, Ryan Shazier, C.J. Mosley, Zack Martin, Brandin Cooks, and HaHa Clinton-Dix. Talk about some gut wrenching shit. Imagine OBJ lining up with Julio. Jesus Christ talk about unstoppable!
But rest easy Atlanta fans, soon there’ll be another post season for your team to convince you that they’ve finally made the leap, only to break your spirit in the way only Georgia sports teams can. Then you won’t even remember missing out on all those blue chip players!