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NFL Draft: Western Kentucky Edge DeAngelo Malone Selected 82nd Overall By Atlanta In Third Round

The talented DE/OLB hybrid gets picked up by his hometown team.

Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics

DeAngelo Malone will have the opportunity to play for the team he grew up watching as the Cedar Grove High School product and two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Year was selected by the Atlanta Falcons on Friday night.

Malone racked up a remarkable amount of awards and watch list adds in his five seasons in Bowling Green, including the aforementioned league DPOY awards and three All-C-USA first team nods.

At 6’4” and 240 pounds, Malone could be argued as the defensive backbone of WKU’s team for the last five years. He totaled 349 tackles in his college career with an impressive 34 sacks, eight passes deflected, and nine forced fumbles.

In 2021, Malone retained his senior year of eligibility due to the COVID‐19 pandemic and in turn – along with Jeremy Darvin and Antwon Kincade – became the first Hilltopper Football players to ever earn five letters. He started all 14 games in his senior season and racked up 94 total tackles – including 17.5 for loss – with nine sacks, four forced fumbles and four pass breakups. His 17.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles tied for the C‐USA lead, while the nine sacks tied for second. The 94 total tackles led all FBS defensive linemen, marking the second time in the past three seasons (99 total tackles in 2019) that he accomplished that feat.

Also worth mentioning is his wingspan of 33 1/8”. Malone controls the zone of the field from the end of the o-line to the sideline like few others in this draft class.

The Falcons got an absolute steal with this pick.