There’s a continual fan gripe that happens every year when the Atlanta Falcons overlook Georgia football stars to draft other players. Maybe there’s something to it.
Georgia football fans see it every year in April. The NFL Draft rolls around, Georgia has some top-flight talent ready to be taken, and the NFL team just 90 minutes away doesn’t pick the guys from their own backyard.
Truthfully, there’s talent that’s missed by every team every year in the NFL Draft, but the Falcons consistently ignoring the star power right up the road is maddening to both Georgia and Atlanta fans.
If the Atlanta Falcons were winning consistently and not blowing 25-point leads in the Super Bowl, most fans probably wouldn’t care. But when you have a team that seems constantly to struggle, fans look for anything that can help pinpoint some blame.
Speaking of that fateful Super Bowl, the New England Patriots — the team who came back to beat Atlanta in overtime — has a history of picking Georgia players, as do the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Three franchises that have been synonymous with winning and who have been consistently going to and/or winning Super Bowls for the last 30 years. Three franchises who cherry-pick some of Georgia’s best players.
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Correlation? Coincidence? Maybe a bit of both.
The truth is, Atlanta has drafted some Bulldogs over the last three decades, but it’s more about the players they didn’t draft that has fans up in arms.
Here’s a quick look at the Georgia football players drafted by all four teams over the past 30 years.