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Reflecting on the Atlanta Falcons 2007 Draft Class

The Atlanta Falcons selected DE Jamaal Anderson with the #8-overall pick back in 2007 out of Arkansas. He was expected to be beast for the Falcons, but now it seems that he’s viewed as much as a defensive tackle as he is an end. This usually means you weren’t kicking a lot of rear end at your natural position.

“He’s still going to be viewed as a defensive end slash defensive tackle,” said GM Thomas Dimitroff. “He’s a guy that has some versatility and Coach Smith has talked about it a number of times. There will be scenarios where he’ll be reduced (inside) and other times where he’ll be expected to be outside in the regular defense. We’ll be creative with our sub defense as far as getting the right mix of who we feel are the right pass rushers from play to play.”

Anderson has 2.5 sacks in 44 games and this just illustrates the point we’ve been making about this whole NFL draft weekend. People are talking about draft grades and who did well and who didn’t. You have no f’ing clue who did a good job or a bad job. No one knows if these guys can play yet and if you pretend like you know, you are a liar.

Here is what Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports had to say immediately following the 2007 draft:

Atlanta Falcons: Fantastic overall value for this class with 11 bodies. Atlanta addressed a lot of needs, and might have gotten three immediate starters in defensive end Jamaal Anderson, offensive tackle Justin Blalock and cornerback Chris Houston. The fast and feisty Houston might end up being the steal of this class, and he should pair well with DeAngelo Hall. Linebacker Stephen Nicholas should be a quality special teams player and improve the depth at the linebacker spot with his versatility. Wideout Laurent Robinson has the raw skill to be a playmaker, but he seems more likely to be another frustrating wideout for the Falcons.
Grade: A

He was at least right about the last part.


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