I’m gonna line up each of my previous archived mock drafts from SportsTalkATL and other sites to see how bad my takes were over previous years. Some of these mocks have trades and different editions; therefore, the picks may look a little off. My method for evaluating draft prospects is vastly different from years past, so go easy on me. Some of these were also from months before the draft. The 2021 NFL Draft is going to be crazy difficult to evaluate, so let’s see how I have stacked up in years past:

2016:

R1: DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama (Actual Draft Spot: R2, Pick 46)

R2: LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame (Actual Draft Spot: R2, Pick 34)

R3: S Vonn Bell, Ohio State (Actual Draft Spot: R2, Pick 61)

R4: DE Shillique Calhoun, Michigan State (Actual Draft Spot: R3, Pick 75)

R6: RB Alex Collins, Arkansas (Actual Draft Spot: R5 Compensation Pick)

R7: LB Scooby Wright, Arizona (Actual Draft Spot: R7, Pick 250)

As you can see, when I was a teenager, I was into the big brand names — pro potential be damned. Jaylon Smith actually had a nice rookie year, but he has regressed. Vonn Bell was pretty solid, but with Atlanta actually drafting Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, Austin Hooper, and De’Vondre Campbell — they have me beat.

My Grade: D+

Falcons Grade: B+

2017:

R1: EDGE TJ Watt, Wisconsin (Actual Draft Spot: R1, Pick 30)

R2: CB Sidney Jones, Washington (Actual Draft Spot: R2, Pick 43)

R3: S Eddie Jackson, Alabama (Actual Draft Spot: R4, Pick 112)

R4: TE George Kittle, Iowa (Actual Draft Spot: R5, Pick 146)

R5: LB Jayon Brown, UCLA (Actual Draft Spot: R5, Pick 155)

R6: WR Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia (Actual Draft Spot: R5, Pick 172)

R7: RB Matt Breida, Georgia Southern (Actual Draft Spot: Undrafted)

This was obviously before Atlanta moved up for Takk McKinley and HAD a second-round pick; oh, what could have been. Look, I’m not going to be captain hindsight, but I killed this one. To be fair to Atlanta, I thought George Kittle was just a backup tight end for Austin Hooper, and I only picked Matt Breida because I went to Southern at the time. If you want to read about how the Falcons ACTUAL 2017 draft doomed Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff, you can find that here. The only pick I think that went really wrong here was Sidney Jones.

My Grade: A

Falcons Grade: F-

2018:

R1: EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College (Actual Draft Spot: R2, Pick 41)

R2: CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado (Actual Draft Spot: R2, Pick 58)

R3: LB Malik Jefferson, Texas (Actual Draft Spot: R3, Pick 78)

R4: S Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State (Actual Draft Spot: R5 Pick 146)

R6: CB JC Jackson, Maryland (Actual Draft Spot: Undrafted)

R7: LB Jack Cichy, Wisconsin (Actual Draft Spot: R6, Pick 202)

This one is quite close. The Falcons and I both got Isaiah Oliver, but they got Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, and Foyesade Oluokun. Malik Jefferson was a massive bust, but I did pick up JC Jackson with the pick Atlanta used on Oluokun. Harold Landry isn’t a bad player, but I have to give the Falcons the edge here, especially with Ito Smith and Deadrin Senat still unproven.

My Grade: C+

Falcons Grade: B+

2019:

R1: EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State (Actual Draft Spot: R1, Pick 16)

R2: CB Justin Layne, Michigan State (Actual Draft Spot: R3, Pick 83)

R3: EDGE Zach Allen, Boston College (Actual Draft Spot: R3, Pick 65)

R4: IDL Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois (Actual Draft Spot: R3, Pick 84)

R5: EDGE Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois (Actual Draft Spot: R6, Pick 175)

R5: RB Miles Sanders, Penn State (Actual Draft Spot: R2, Pick 53)

R6: DT Daniel Wise, Kansas (Actual Draft Spot: Undrafted)

R7: CB Kris Boyd, Texas (Actual Draft Spot: R7, Pick 217)

Another really close call. I love the potential of Brian Burns, but Chris Lindstrom was elite in 2020. My draft wasn’t much better than Atlanta’s, with the only other notable pick really being Kaleb McGary, who the jury is still out on. I like John Cominsky, but Qadree Ollison, Marcus Green, Jordan Miller, and Kendall Sheffield isn’t much of a haul. The only notable name that I had outside of Burns was Sanders, who went way before my projection a few months before the draft. Considering most of those names aren’t in Atlanta anymore (or won’t be much longer), I’ll take Kris Boyd and Justin Layne, who are both serviceable corners. I think Zach Allen still has some potential as well. Lindstrom honestly saves Atlanta from a D or an F here.

My Grade: C

Falcons Grade: C

2020:

R1: IDL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina (Actual Draft Spot: R1, Pick 14)

R2: CB AJ Terrell, Clemson (Actual Draft Spot: R1, Pick 16)

R2: RB Cam Akers, Florida State (Actual Draft Spot: R2, Pick 52) 

R3: IOL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (Actual Draft Spot: R4, Pick 146)

R4: TE Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic (Actual Draft Spot: R4, Pick 115)

R5: RB AJ Dillon, Boston College (Actual Draft Spot: R2, Pick 162)

R7: OT Trey Adams, Washington (Actual Draft Spot: Undrafted)

It gets a little more difficult here, considering these guys didn’t even get a real offseason. AJ Terrell is the elephant in the room, but I’m happy Atlanta took him over Kinlaw, even though I still think he has some potential. That was around AJ Terrell’s original draft slot, and although I was not too fond of the pick at the time, it worked out. Mykal Walker is another steal I’m very pleased with. The jury is still out on Marlon Davidson, but I like him as a 3-4 defensive end under Dean Pees. I still think Matt Hennessy deserves one more go after a full offseason, but the interior offensive line has to be addressed in free agency and the draft. Of course, this was before the Hurst trade, but I loved Cam Akers with that New England Pick. Unfortunately, Akers went three picks before that. Obviously, AJ Dillon went far beyond my original prediction, but it was a surprise pick at the time. Harrison Bryant was pretty good in 2020, and Tyler Biadasz was just okay. Crazy that Trey Adams went undrafted; he was a projected top-five pick before the season started. Take this grade with the grain of salt, but I’m giving the edge to the Falcons.

My Grade: B-

Falcons Grade: B+

This article first appeared on SportsTalkATL and was syndicated with permission.

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