WATCH: Fran Tarkenton says Atlanta Falcons ‘stupid’ for not drafting Georgia players
ATHENS — NFL Hall of Famer and former Georgia football quarterback Fran Tarkenton was pretty straight-forward in his assessment of recent Atlanta Falcons acquisitions.
“The Falcons have starkly been stupid, because they don’t draft any Georgia players,” Tarkenton told 11AliveSports.
To Tarkenton’s point, of the 32 former Georgia football players on active NFL rosters, none play for the Falcons.
Further, Atlanta hasn’t drafted a UGA player since 2011 and has picked Bulldogs just five times in the past 25 years.
Sunday’s Super Bowl Sunday features three starters from the Bulldogs’ program, running backs Sony Michel (New England) and Todd Gurley (Los Angeles), and center David Andrews (New England).
Linebacker Ramik Wilson (Los Angeles) is a backup inside linebacker, and offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (New England) is on injured reserve.
“Sony Michel was a second (first)-round pick, stars with a Super Bowl team his rookie year,” Tarkenton said. “Dave Andrews is a center has been in the league three years, he’s been to three Super Bowls. He was a free agent (from) 60 miles down the road.
“Guy named Todd Gurley. You take Vic Beasley over Todd Gurley, you want to defend that? Todd Gurley is the best running back in football.”
— 11Alive Sports (@11AliveSports) February 1, 2019
Linebacker Akeem Dent is the most recent Georgia pick for the Falcons, selected in the third round in 2011.
In 2008, tailback Thomas Brown was a sixth-round pick for the Atlanta franchise, in 2007 tight end Martrez Milner was picked in the fourth round, and quarterback D.J. Shockley was a seventh-round pick in 2006.
Before that, one would need to go back to the 1994 NFL Draft to see the Falcons pick a Georgia player, Mitch Davis, in the fourth round.
New England, by contrast, has picked seven Georgia players since Bill Belichick became the Patriots coach in 2000.