The Atlanta stood in the 2nd of the 2015 NFL draft with a choice. Draft a to fill a ‘need’. Help to shore up their defensive backfield especially at the safety position. A reasonable, conservative approach by a franchise STILL haunted by the departure 8 years ago of Michael Vick to a dog fighting scandal. Or they could take a risk. Use the pick to take a calculated risk to make their team suddenly one to be feared defensively. Randy Gregory, LB/DE of Nebraska was still on the board. Gregory, who by many pundits was rated HIGHER than Falcons 1st round pick Vic Bealsey. Gregory was available because of testing positive for marijuana. Imagine offensive nightmares that could be created by having 2 lightning quick pass rushers on both sides of the field! Atlanta chose Jalen Collins, S, LSU with that pick. Seemingly a safe, conservative pick.
We find out later however that Collins had his own off the field issues, AND had an injury which he needed surgery on before camp. So why not take a chance on Gregory?
Former Pro bowler Adrian Clayborn who looked done in Tampa Bay, seems rejuvenated in ATL. Paired on the same side of the field as Vic Beasley, these two already seem to be making things tough on opponents. Imagine having a pass rusher like Gregory on the other side.
This choice may determine whether the Atlanta Falcons will be simply playoff contenders, or lost an opportunity to be Super Bowl caliber team for years to come. Time will tell (As of this writing Gregory has 2 sacks, Collins has often looked a bit lost so far)