FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons hope Florida State’s Devonta Freeman can help revive the NFL’s worst rushing attack.
Drafting Freeman with the third pick of the fourth round on Saturday, Atlanta picked up some insurance behind starter Steven Jackson and primary backup Jacquizz Rodgers.
Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo was selected with the next-to-last pick of the fourth round.
The Falcons had the lowest-ranked running game last year as a porous offensive line failed to open space for Jackson and Rodgers.
Freeman left after his junior season at national champion Florida State.
He averaged nearly 5.9 yards on 173 carries to become the school’s first 1,000-yard rusher since former Falcons star Warrick Dunn did it for his third straight year in 1996.
Shembo gives Atlanta depth behind oft-injured linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
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