The Atlanta Falcons haven’t won a Super Bowl yet, but they have still found a lot of success, led by a lot of top-notch players.
There are really probably 10 or more players who could be in the top five, but we have narrowed it down to five.
Let’s break down the five greatest Falcons players of all time.
5. Michael Vick
Michael Vick’s tenure with the Falcons didn’t end in spectacular fashion, but now that he has paid his debts for that, he deserves to be in the top five of the Falcons’ greatest players.
Vick was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Falcons. When Vick was on the field, anything could happen, and no one dared take their eyes off of him. During his time with the Falcons he threw for 11,505 yards, and as impressive as his arm was, he mostly was known for his legs. He rushed for 3,859 yards, running away from many defenders.
It’s disappointing what happened because if he would have stayed with the Falcons, he probably could have moved up at least a couple of spots on this list.
4. Deion Sanders
One of the best draft picks in the Falcons history was in 1989 when they selected Deion Sanders with the fifth overall pick. Sanders only ended up playing five seasons with the team, but his impact on the team during that time was enough to land him on this list.
Sanders was a lockdown corner that opposing quarterbacks wouldn’t try to test because they knew there wasn’t any point. Often when they would test Sanders, it would end in an interception.
Sanders finished his time with the Falcons with 24 interceptions. He was named to three Pro Bowls and made two First-Team All-Pro selections.
3. Matt Ryan
The Atlanta Falcons really should have won their Super Bowl game against the New England Patriots, and if that would have happened, Matt Ryan would be number one this list. Instead, the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead, which means Ryan is only third.
Ryan was selected with the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Since that point, he has given the Falcons a lot of stability at quarterback. Ryan has started 189 games for the Falcons, throwing for 51,186 yards, 321 touchdowns, and 147 interceptions.
Ryan has been named to four Pro Bowls and also was named the NFL MVP one time. In 2008, he was named the Rookie Of the Year.
2. Jeff Van Note
Often time offensive lineman are overlooked when thinking about great players, but there is no overlooking Jeff Van Note and what he did for the Falcons.
Van Note was selected in the 11th round in the 1969 draft, and there were very few expectations surrounding him when he was selected. Not only did he outplay his draft position, but he also became one of the best centers of his generation.
Van Note played in 155 consecutive games with the Falcons, which was a team record. During his 18 years with the team, he was named to six Pro Bowls. When thinking about the best Falcons of all time, Van Note is often overlooked.
1. Tommy Nobis
Tommy Nobis was the first player ever drafted by the Falcons all the way back in the 1965 draft. His first year in the league, Nobis won rookie of the year, quickly becoming one of the best linebackers in the NFL.
From 1966 to 1976, Nobis was the anchor of the Falcons defense. Tackles weren’t an official stat when Nobis was a member of the team, but he racked up plenty during his career. He was named to the Pro Bowl five times and one All-Pro team.
Nobis wasn’t given enough credit back when he played, and he still isn’t given enough credit for what he did for the Falcons.