The Atlanta Falcons’ John Settle


Former Atlanta Falcons‘ running back John Settle holds a unique place in National Football League history. Settle was undrafted coming out of Appalachian State, and signed with the Atlanta Falcons. In his first season he started only one game, though he played in parts of eight others. He would finish the season with just over 70 yards rushing. It was Settle’s second year, 1988, that he would make his mark in. He ended the season with a respectable 4.4 yards per carry average and 1,024 total rushing yards. He also lead the Falcons in receiving with 68 receptions for 570 yards. With these totals, he was rewarded with his one and only trip to the Pro Bowl. He only played one other full season in the NFL, 1989, also with the Falcons, then played in six games during the 1990 season before he was out of football.

So, why did he go down in history this undrafted running back who came out of nowhere to have a great season in 1988 and then disappeared just as quickly? John Settle was the first running back to make his way into the league as an undrafted player and then to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season.

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