The Falcons wrapped up the 2015 season by packing up their lockers and chatting with teammates before heading out to start the offseason
The Falcons currently hold the 17th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and if recent history is any indication, they should be able to find a tremendous first-round talent come April. Here's a look at the last five players to go at No. 17, plus the two guys Atlanta has taken at that spot.
2015: Arik Armstead, DL, San Francisco 49ers
Armstead recorded two sacks and 19 tackles in his rookie season. This year he earned the second-highest Pro Football Focus grade among San Francisco defenders, thanks in large part to his staunch run defense and ability to move opposing QBs off their spots.
2014: CJ Mosley, LB, Baltimore Ravens
In 2015, his second professional campaign, Mosley led the Ravens in tackles (117) to go along with four sacks and a forced fumble. According to PFF, he made 58 stops in 2015—20 more than any other Raven.
2013: Jarvis Jones, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
A disciplined linebacker who is a disruptive part of the Steelers' pass-rush, Jones recorded two sacks, a forced fumble and a sack this season. A native of Columbus, Ga., he grew into his own in 2015 and should continue to improve as a member of Pittsburgh's talented defense.
2012: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Cincinnati Bengals
This year, Kirkpatrick has served as a starting cornerback for the Bengals. He finished the regular season with 70 tackles, 20 stops and 16 pass deflections.
2011: Nate Solder, OL, New England Patriots
A torn bicep ended Solder's year after just four games, but when healthy, he's done a solid job protecting Tom Brady's blindside at left tackle. He started from Day 1 and allowed just four sacks in each of his first two NFL seasons.
1986: Tim Green, LB, Atlanta Falcons
Green spent eight years with the Falcons and finished with 24 career sacks and a safety. A two-time All-American at Syracuse, he was a member of the 1991 team that won the franchise's first-ever playoff game.
1979: Don Smith, NT, Atlanta Falcons
Recently dubbed the 30th-best Falcon ever by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smith notched 38.5 sacks during his six years in Atlanta—two of which included playoff appearances.