Backdraft: Atlanta Falcons


BACKDRAFT SERIES: For 16 days leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft, we're rolling out capsule draft histories of each of the 32 NFL Teams.

Backdraft Series
Apr. 12 - Packers | Steelers
Apr. 13 - Bears | Jets
Apr. 14- Patriots | Falcons
Apr. 15- Ravens | Seahawks
Apr. 16- Saints | Eagles
Apr. 17- Colts | Chiefs
Apr. 18- Buccaneers | Giants
Apr. 19- Chargers | Raiders
Apr. 20- Jaguars | Dolphins
Apr. 21- Rams | Lions
Apr. 22- Vikings | Texans
Apr. 23- Redskins | Cowboys
Apr. 24- Titans | 49ers
Apr. 25- Browns | Cardinals
Apr. 26- Bengals | Bills
Apr. 27- Broncos | Panthers
2011 Draft Position:
• 27


First-Ever Draft Pick:

• Tommy Nobis, LB, Texas (1st Round, 1st overall, in 1966)


Most Recent Draft Pick:

• Shann Schillinger, DB, Montana (6th round, 171st overall, in 2010)


Hall of Famers Drafted:

Deion Sanders – 1st Round (5th overall), 1989


First Overall Pick in the NFL Draft:

2001 – Michael Vick, QB, Virginia Tech
1988 – Aundray Bruce, LB, Auburn
1975 – Steve Bartkowski, QB, California
1966 – Tommy Nobis, LB, Texas

Tommy Nobis Aundray Bruce Deion Sanders
Did you know?

The Falcons finished with a disappointing 3-13 mark in 1989 and for the second time in three seasons owned the top pick of the following year's draft. Unlike two years prior when the Falcons selected Auburn linebacker Aundray Bruce, the team this time decided to deal the pick. Atlanta shipped the draft choice to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for perennial Pro Bowl tackle Chris Hinton and first-year sensation, wide receiver Andre Rison along with Indy's number one pick the following year.

The Colts used the top draft pick to select QB Jeff George. Atlanta used the pick acquired from Indy to draft WR Mike Prichard from Colorado with the 13th overall pick. Pritchard played three seasons for the Falcons and amassed 201 catches before he was dealt to Denver.

A few years later George landed in Atlanta with the Falcons sending a pair of first round picks and a third-round choice to the Colts in exchange for the quarterback.



"I am married to football; baseball is just my girlfriend.''

Those words came out of the mouth of Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011 enshrinee Deion Sanders shortly after he was selected in the first round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Falcons. At the time, Sanders was playing AA baseball in Albany, NY. He went on to balance a lengthy career in Major League Baseball while having a Hall of Fame career in the NFL.

His decision to be a two-sport player may have scared away the Detroit Lions who had him in their sights with the third overall pick that year. They passed on Deion and instead drafted a different Sanders by the name of Barry.



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