Roddy White a top five all-time Falcon?

Roddy White always will have a pronounced profile as a Falcon. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Roddy White always will have a pronounced profile as a Falcon. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Former Falcon Roddy White – just trying that phrase on for size, and it feels wrong, like me trying to fit into my wedding suit – is on deck to be added to the Falcons Ring of Honor. Book that as one of the only sure highlights for the new stadium.

Now that we’ve had nearly a day to digest White’s firing by the Falcons, it is way past time we put his career in context.

This is tricky work. For in the aftermath of a popular player’s dismissal, we are apt to give too much weight to his time of service. That is true of all obituaries, actual and professional.

That said, I’d squeeze him now into the top five of all-time Falcons as of today (awaiting the fullness of Julio Jones’ career).

And it could have been even higher, had White not taken his first two seasons to figure out how to be a professional, had Matt Ryan come along a little sooner and had Kyle Shanahan not come along at all.

Here’s a very subjective All-Time Falcons Top 10, March of 2016 version.

Did I mention it is very subjective? Feel free to move the pieces around as you choose:

  1. Tommy Nobis, LB.
  2. Matt Ryan, QB.
  3. Jessie Tuggle, LB.
  4. Jeff Van Note, C.
  5. Roddy White, WR.
  6. Mike Kenn, OT.
  7. Steve Bartkowski, QB.
  8. Claude Humphrey, DE.
  9. William Andrews, RB.
  10. Gerald Riggs, RB.

A few explanations are in order.

Mr. Falcon, Nobis – the franchise’s first draft pick, its first Pro Bowler and the most dependable company man ever – will always be No. 1. It’s my list, so it’s my prerogative to etch the stone however I please.

No, Deion Sanders is not there. You’ll note a pronounced bias towards length of service – Tuggle, Van Note and Kenn were, respectively, 14-, 18- and 17-year survivors of this team. Accumulating that amount of scar tissue should be worth something. Sanders was a relative Falcons dilettante, spending his first five years here before finding greener pasture.

Yes, that’s the still-active Ryan up there very high. The numbers and records he already has accumulated are undeniable.

Michael Vick – not a chance. The harm outweighed the highlights.

The franchise’s all-time leading receiver is in great company. An All-Timer to be sure, regardless of where specifically you may choose to slot him (not that slotting is really required at this level).

Reader Comments 0

30 comments
Stinger2
Stinger2

Sanders was good at coverage due to his speed. I did not think he

was a good tackler.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@Stinger2

Agreed.  Deion was perhaps the greatest coverage DB, and the fastest, but he was allergic to tackling.  The Steelers Rod Woodson was a better overall CB than Sanders...almost as fast, equal in coverage, far superior at tackling.

RangeRover
RangeRover

My Top 10, All-Time Falcons:

  1. Matt Ryan - Offensive ROY, 3 Pro Bowls, 5 straight winning seasons (2002-2012) beginning as a Rookie with terrible defenses. Would have 2-3 rings by now with better defenses, decent OL's and better coaching (2010 & 2012).
  2. Claude Humphrey - 8 time All Pro...enough said!
  3. Mike Kenn - 5 Pro Bowls, 5 All Pros, 17 outstanding years.
  4. Jeseie Tuggle -  5 Pro Bowls, 3 All Pros, 14 outstanding years.
  5. Tommy Nobis - See Bartkowski below - same injuries and shortened career.  Defensive ROY, 5 Pro Bowls, 2 All Pros, voted to 1960's All Decade Team
  6. Jeff Van Note - 5 Pro Bowls, 2 All Pros, 18 great  years!
  7. Steve Bartkowski - NFC ROY, 2 Pro Bowls.  The best QB in the game from 1980 - 1982 whose career was prematurely shortened by injuries playing behind horrific OL's his first 3-4 seasons.
  8. Roddy White - 4 Pro Bowls, 1 All Pro.  Benefitted from Matt Ryan's emergence (his 4th season).  Could be ranked higher had he not essentially quit on his team his final 3 seasons.
  9. William Andrews -  4 Pro Bowls, 1 All Pro. Again, an great career derailed by injuries.
  10. George Kunz - 5 All Pro Selections, best LT in the game, traded to get #1 overall in Bartkowski.
  11. Julio Jones - 3 All Pros in first 5 Seasons.  Easily 5 if not for injuries.  Prediction:  will challenged for top 3 All-Time Falcons when his career is over.

AtlantaSportsVictory
AtlantaSportsVictory

Matt Ryan at #2 is ridiculous! 1-3 playoff record, three straight losing seasons, etc. Vick and Chandler were much more accomplished when it COUNTED...the playoffs.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@AtlantaSportsVictory

Wrong!  

Give Ryan the Defense like you witnessed from either team in the Super Bowl and just an above average offense line and he has 2-3 Rings by now.

Dribble
Dribble

There, that's better.......

  1. Tommy Nobis, LB.
  2. Steve Bartkowski, QB.
  3. William Andrews, RB
  4. Jeff Van Note, C.
  5. Mike Kenn, OT.
  6. Claude Humphrey, DE
  7. Gerald Riggs, RB.
  8. Matt Ryan, QB.
  9.  Roddy White, WR.
  10. Jessie Tuggle, LB.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Dribble Bartkowski is not that much better than Matt.......and I loved the original "Skinny 10"

Dribble
Dribble

@TOJacket @Dribble  Bartkowski still holds almost every Falcons passing record. Matt did surpass Bartkowski's all-time passing yards record. So yeah, he's still got time to move up on my list.....

Dribble
Dribble

@TOJacket  Actually, Matt's stats are pretty impressive.  Top 5 for sure.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Dribble @TOJacket Bart was more athletic and Matt is a better reader of defenses......hell, Bart could throw the ball 80 yards.

khd713
khd713

Roddy = slightly above average receiver. Absolutely no way he rates higher than Humphrey and Bartkowski.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@khd713 Slightly above average?............sounds like a description of your football knowledge?

mgunter
mgunter

No way he makes th list, he lost me when he started spouting off about Travon Martin when he knew nothing about th facts. Avg receiver at best.

BirdBacker
BirdBacker

I think Jones needs to be on that list if you are going to put Ryan on there... 

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

Bartkowski should be right behind Nobis. Ryan has not earned that lofty position, at least not yet.

Towner Family
Towner Family

I'm an old timer but Humphrey should absolutely be top 5.  He was all the team had for many years.  Roddy is a great player but he and Ryan have each other to thank for being on this list.

Timothy Blinkhorn
Timothy Blinkhorn

Roddy White above Steve Bartkowski?  Hummer where is your mind at?  Roddy White has been a servicable receiver for several years, agreed.  How many playoff wins?  How many game changing/winning plays compared to Bart.  As for the others commenting about Deion Sanders, he was an opportunistic athlete.  He did what he wanted to do at the time, make a LOT of money.  Some from the Braves, some from the Falcons and then he ran for the bigger paychecks as soon as he could.  Not a true Falcon like you mentioned.  Yes, Matt Ryan has numbers (just like Roddy White) but what have either of them produced?  Nothing. (period)

Timothy Blinkhorn
Timothy Blinkhorn

@TOJacket @Timothy Blinkhorn No, that Dome wouldn't be there but for the poor planning and excessive spending of the Atlanta City government.  Prime Time was an awesome player, just not long enough to qualify as a Falcon in the same sentence with Nobis or Bartkowski.


Timothy Blinkhorn
Timothy Blinkhorn

@FineousMcDirtyBird @Timothy Blinkhorn Bart, William Andrews and the Gritz Blitz were the first teams to give this franchise a winner. Ryan and White have done what, won a single playoff game?  If it were not for Rick Bias we would have had a Super Bowl win back in the early 80's.

TOJacket
TOJacket

As much as I like Matt Ryan........Roddy did just as much, and Dione should absolutely be in the top 5!........I don't give a crap how long he played........he built that damn dome!

FrankieB
FrankieB

Roddy should be ahead of Ryan.