The Atlanta Falcons won three NFC South titles in the 2010s. They made it all the way to the NFC Championship game twice, once losing to the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, and once dominating the Green Bay Packers only to lose to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, one of the most unforgettable games in sports history. Plenty of outstanding players have come through the doors in Atlanta during the 2010s. Now that the decade is over, it’s time to choose the Atlanta Falcons All-Decade Team.
2010s Atlanta Falcons All-Decade Team: Defense
Defensive End: John Abraham
Abraham spent most of his career in Atlanta, though only three of those seasons came post-2010. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2010, amassing 13 sacks that season. He also forced a career high six fumbles in 2012, along with a career high eight pass deflections. His sole career interception came in Atlanta in 2010 as well. He’s one of the better pass rushers in recent NFL history and was a valuable member of the Falcons for seven seasons.
Defensive Tackle: Jonathan Babineaux
Babineaux spent his entire 12 year career with the Falcons, and he was a disruptive force on the interior. He was an excellent run defender and a strong tackler. He amassed 27 career sacks and even scored two touchdowns, both on fumble recoveries. The 300-lb tackle was a staple of the Falcons’ defense his entire career.
Defensive Tackle: Grady Jarrett
Jarrett is currently one of the NFL’s best interior defensive linemen. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2019, registering 7.5 sacks and 69 total tackles. He forced five fumbles in the last two seasons and could be on his way to greatness. Atlanta has a franchise centerpiece at defensive tackle in Jarrett.
Defensive End: Vic Beasley
Beasley’s Atlanta tenure ended in the off-season after the pass rusher signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans, but he enjoyed a couple phenomenal seasons in Atlanta. After being drafted in 2015, Beasley had 15.5 sacks in his second NFL season and made the All-Pro team. He’s an elite pass rusher and was a huge part of Atlanta’s Super Bowl defense.
Outside Linebacker: De’Vondre Campbell
Similar to Beasley, Campbell’s tenure with Atlanta ended after 2019. He signed a deal with the Arizona Cardinals in the off-season. Campbell registered a career-high 129 tackles in 2019 to go with. pair of sacks and a pair of picks. He’s a good coverage linebacker and started 54 games for Atlanta during his four year tenure with the team.
Middle Linebacker: Deion Jones
Jones is the best player on this list. He’s one of the fastest linebackers in the NFL and elite in coverage. With nine picks and four defensive touchdowns in just four seasons, he’s well on his way to becoming one of the best players in Falcon history. He’s the leader of Atlanta’s defense and should be a fixture of the team for the foreseeable future.
Outside Linebacker: Sean Weatherspoon
Weatherspoon played seven seasons for Atlanta after they drafted him in 2010. Though not widely recognized as an elite linebacker, he was a big piece of a couple very good Falcons defenses. With eight career sacks and 330 career tackles, his numbers don’t jump off the page, but Atlanta Falcons fans remember him fondly.
Cornerback: Desmond Trufant
Trufant is yet another player on his way out of Atlanta. The 29 year-old signed a deal with the Detroit Lions in the off-season. Trufant was a Pro Bowler in 2015, and was one of the best lockdown corners in the league. He registered a career high four picks in 2019, giving him 13 for his career. He was one of the most important players on Atlanta’s Super Bowl team and has secured a key spot on the all-decade team.
Cornerback: Brent Grimes
Grimes’ best attribute was his extraordinary leaping ability. He generated more than a few turnovers simply by out jumping wide receivers. A Pro Bowler in 2010, Grimes picked off 13 passes during his Falcons tenure. He also registered a career high 87 tackles in 2010, and his coverage skills along with highlight athleticism place him on the opposite side of Trufant on the Falcons all-decade defensive team.
Safety: Ricardo Allen
Allen started all 16 games for Atlanta last season, the second time in his brief career he’s done that. He’s still only 28, and entering the prime of his career, but he’s already flashed excellent ballhawking skills and the ability to make open field tackles. With 9 interceptions in 65 career games, Allen is looking to build on a strong 2019 as the new decade begins.
Safety: Keanu Neal
Neal has missed most of the last two seasons due to injury, but in his last full season he was a Pro Bowler. The 24 year-old possesses a massive amount of athleticism and tackling ability. He hits hard and plays hard, and he’s already a fixture of Atlanta’s defense. If he’s able to stay healthy in 2020, he may gain traction as a household name along those like Earl Thomas and Harrison Smith.
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