2016: Deion Jones, LB
Deion Jones is the most successful player to come from the 52nd overall pick in the last five years as he is the only one to have a Pro Bowl under his belt as he was given the honor in 2017. He has not been back since but Jones is still a very important component in the Falcons’ defense.
Jones came in his rookie season and was an instant impact starter for a Falcons team that marched all the way to the Super Bowl and should have won the big game. He built on that in 2017, where he recorded 138 tackles (up 30 from his rookie year), three interceptions and a sack.
Jones looked ready to carve out a career of being one of the best linebackers in the league but injuries derailed his 2018 season as he only played six games. He started all 16 games for the Falcons in 2019, and while he was not as good as his Pro Bowl season, he still recorded 110 total tackles and an interception.
Jones is talented enough to return to the Pro Bowl and it might just be a matter of time until he does. He is only 25 years old, so he has several more prime seasons left in him to make an impact.
There was not a better prospect that the Falcons could have selected in the next 15 picks, although there was two more Pro Bowlers from pick 53 to 67. Cody Whitehair is a one-time Pro Bowl guard for the Chicago Bears and Kevin Byard is a one-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro for the Tennessee Titans.
Byard has had a better career thus far, but we cannot say that the Falcons should have taken him as Jones was a great selection.