Coin toss nets Falcons No. 3 pick; Raiders, Chiefs to follow

Updated: February 22, 2008, 11:21 PM ET
By John Clayton |

The Atlanta Falcons, who won only four games last season, won a coin toss Friday morning that will allow them to select third in the 2008 draft.

Elias Says

The Falcons won a coin toss Friday, awarding them the third pick in the 2008 NFL draft. The Raiders and Chiefs, who along with the Falcons finished at 4-12 last season, will select fourth and fifth, respectively. How much will this ultimately matter? Since the 1970 draft, there have been more Pro Bowl selections for players chosen fourth in the draft (91, with three Hall of Famers) than by players chosen third (79, two Hall of Famers). Players chosen fifth have accounted for 56 Pro Bowl selections (one Hall of Famer). The Hall of Famers: No. 3s-Anthony Munoz (1980) and Barry Sanders (1989); No. 4s-John Hannah (1973), Walter Payton (1975) and Dan Hampton (1979); No. 5 Mike Haynes (1976).

• Read more Elias Says

Spots No. 3 through No. 5 were uncertain until Friday morning because the Falcons, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs each finished with 4-12 records and each played schedules with a cumulative .516 winning percentage in 2007. Draft positions are determined by team records and schedules, with the easier schedules getting the higher draft seeding. A coin toss is used to break ties.

After the Friday morning coin toss, the Falcons received the No. 3 pick, the Raiders No. 4 and the Chiefs No. 5.

The Falcons had the first call and won the toss. Under that scenario, the Falcons got the third pick and the Raiders the fourth pick. Had the Falcons lost the toss and the Raiders won, the Raiders would have drafted third, and then the Falcons would have flipped against the Chiefs for the No. 4 and No. 5 picks.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for

John Clayton

NFL senior writer