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Top 5 Worst Draft Picks- Atlanta Falcons
These guys were brought in to help the team win, but couldn't accomplish anything on the field. Today I rank the top five worst draft picks by the Atlanta Falcons.
5. Joe Profit
Knee injuries shortened his promising career.
While attending Louisiana Monroe, Joe Profit became the first black athlete to play football in the now Sunbelt Conference. He was the Conference's all-time rushing champion with 2,818 yards, 538 carries and he set 10 school records, including most yards in a game.
Profit was the seventh overall pick in 1971 by Atlanta. A knee injury he received in the fourth game of his rookie year caused his career to take a downward spiral. In his rookie season, he rushed three times for 10 yards and a touchdown. The next year, 40 for 132 and no touchdowns. In 1973, 18 times for 55 yards and two touchdowns. In his three year career with Atlanta and New Orleans, he rushed for under 500 yards and three touchdowns.
4. Jimmy Williams
He was brought in to make the defense a powerhouse but instead made them more of an embarrassment.
In four years at Virginia Tech, Jimmy Williams built a reputation as a clutch defensive back. Playing both cornerback and safety, he was a force at intercepting passes and won the Jack Tatum award his senior year.
Williams was drafted in the second round in 2006. He was supposed to be another major piece in improving a defense that gave up 24 or more points seven times in 2005. Instead, Williams started seven games over two seasons, was moved from cornerback to safety and released after showing up to voluntary offseason workouts overweight. He was also suspended his second season for possession of marijuana.
3. Takkarist McKinley
He had a memorable draft day moment, but the same couldn't be said for his Falcons tenure.
Takkarist McKinley originally committed to the California but was ruled a non-qualifier and had to attended Contra Costa College. During his one season there in 2013, he had 33 tackles and 10 sacks. The following year he transferred to UCLA. As a senior in 2016, he finished with 10 sacks and was named first team All-Pac 12.
McKinley was selected 26th overall in 2017 and celebrated on the draft stage with a giant portrait of his late grandmother. Despite concerns about recovering from a torn labrum and a fracture in his shoulder, he played in all 16 games while recording 20 tackles and six sacks, good for fourth in the league among rookies and second on the team. The following year, he finished the season with 22 combined tackles and a team high seven sacks. Things went south for McKinley as he requested to be traded early in 2019 but the Falcons had turned down several trade offers from other teams. He was released by the team late in 2020. He was claimed by Cincinnati and San Francisco but failed physicals with both teams resulting in him landing with Las Vegas. He's currently in Cleveland trying to make the active roster. He had just 17.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in four years in Atlanta.
2. Jamaal Anderson
He was seen as the next great pass rusher, but never accomplished much.
As a sophomore at Arkansas, Jamaal Anderson switched from wide receiver to defensive end. He instantly hit it off at his new position change and recorded 17.5 quarterback sacks during his college career. He chose to forgo his senior season at Arkansas, and entered the NFL Draft.
Anderson was selected eighth overall in 2007. He was a giant bust and amassed only 2.5 sacks in 44 starts with Atlanta before he was released. And to think the Falcons could have picked up future All-Pro's Patrick Willis and Darrelle Revis at eight.
1. Aundray Bruce
He had a long career, but never lived up to expectations.
At Auburn, Aundray Bruce was a force at outside linebacker. He was a two time All-SEC linebacker and was labeled as the next Lawrence Taylor.
Bruce was the first overall pick in 1988. While he flashed some of his next Lawrence Taylor sizzle as he was selected to the All-Rookie team, many were still skeptical of his effort to the game. He vastly under performed only recording 16 sacks in four years with the team. He was also very immature and caused many on and off field incidents with teammates and the public, most notably being slapped with two paternity suits as a rookie and pointing a BB gun on a pizza delivery driver. Jerry Glanville tried to save his Atlanta tenure by converting him to tight end, but ultimately kept him on the defensive line. The main reason he is the biggest bust in Atlanta history was that the Falcons had their pick of Michael Irvin or Randall McDaniel, Tim Brown, Bennie Blades, Neil Smith, Keith Jackson, Sterling Sharpe or Ken Harvey, all future Pro Bowlers and/or Hall of Famers. Bruce spent his final years in Oakland before retiring after 11 years and never lived up to the reputation of being the next L.T.