Calvin Johnson wanted to play for the Atlanta Falcons, not the Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson wanted to play for the Atlanta Falcons.

The retirement of Calvin Johnson after the 2015 season at just 30 years old was one of the biggest shocks in the NFL at the time. The former Detroit Lions receiver should be a Hall of Famer, but he made another big surprise when he admitted the Georgia native wanted to suit up for the Atlanta Falcons.

Johnson was born in Newman, Georgia and went to Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone before starring at Georgia Tech for three seasons before he was the No. 2 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

“Sitting there leading up to the draft, I am like shoot, boy I hope I go to Atlanta,” Johnson said during an interview with Glover Quin on his YouTube show called “The DB Room” on Wednesday. “Played my high school ball, played my college ball right here and then, playing in the NFL right here. That would be the best little thing ever. OK, Atlanta got No. 7. I might not be there. I hope they trade up to get me.”

Johnson never got his wish as the Lions and their fondness for drafting wide receivers at the top of the first round won out. It was a great pick for the Lions despite their lack of success as a franchise. Johnson who was referred to Megatron throughout his career finished with 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns.

It’s hard not to imagine what the Falcons could have looked like with Johnson lined up on the other side of the field from Julio Jones with Matt Ryan throwing them the ball. It would be the most talented passing trio this side of Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne and could have helped result in the Falcons winning a Super Bowl in one of the seasons the Falcons got close but couldn’t seal the deal.

As for the Falcons, they took Arkansas defensive end, Jamaal Anderson who was a certified bust out of Arkansas.

For Falcons and Atlanta sports fans, this is just another in the long history of “what-ifs” for the franchise and their fans to obsess over.

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