In 11 days the 2019 NFL Draft will kickoff in Nashville, Tennessee and for the first time in franchise history the Atlanta Falcons will make their first selection out of the No. 14 slot in the first round. Since the draft coverage will be intensifying right to the second when the Arizona Cardinals go on the clock, I figured it was time to have some fun and look at the history of the NFL Draft’s fourteenth overall pick.
The first NFL Draft was in 1936 and until 1950, there weren’t enough teams in the league to have a fourteenth pick in the first round. After the 1949 season, the All-American Football Conference folded after four years of play and the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers were merged into the NFL to fill the league out to 14 teams.
In 1950, the NFL Champion Philadelphia Eagles completed the first round at fourteen by selecting a Pro Football Hall of Famer, but not a Hall of Famer as a player. They picked Bud Grant out of the University of Minnesota. Yes, the very same Bud Grant known for stalking the Minnesota Vikings sidelines in single degree temperatures, in his shirtsleeves. Grant played two seasons for the Eagles as an end (receiver). The Eagles have also picked the most times at No. 14, with seven selection.
Speaking of Hall of Famers, there are three Hall of Famers from the No. 14 slot in the first round. In addition to Grant there is linebacker Dave Robinson, selected in 1963 by the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Jim Kelly, picked in 1983 by the Buffalo Bills.
Darrelle Revis, drafted by the New York Jets in 2007, has the most first team All-Pro awards of any players drafted in this slot with four. Earl Thomas, drafted in 2010 by the Seattle Seahawks, has three. As for Pro Bowls, 23 No. 14 picks have played in the game led by 1995 Buffalo Bills draft pick, guard Ruben Brown with nine appearances.
Out of the 60 players taken fourteenth overall in the first round, 9 have been defensive ends. Could the Falcons make that 10 this year? Robert Quinn, who played with the Miami Dolphins last year and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2011 has the most sacks by a defensive lineman out of this spot. If the Falcons go defensive line, their player has to beat 69 sacks and counting.
Ohio State has had four players taken at No. 14, the most of any college, safety Malcolm Jenkins, running back Eddie George, linebacker Randy Gradishar and tackle Rufus Mayes. Sorry Falcons fans but Nick Bosa is not going to make it to No. 14 and be the fifth.
What will the Atlanta Falcons add to this list of No. 14 overall draft picks? We’ll find out in 11 days when the team goes on the clock.