Former Atlanta Falcons first-round draft pick and four-time Pro Bowl guard Bill Fralic died Thursday at the age of 56 following a bout with cancer.
The University of Pittsburgh, where Fralic was a three-time All-American offensive lineman, released the news of his passing. He was the first offensive lineman to twice finish in the top 10 of the Heisman Trophy balloting, placing sixth in 1984 and eighth in 1983.
“I can clearly remember as a kid watching him at Pitt with my dad saying, ‘Watch this guy play offensive line,'” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Friday. “The physicality and finish that he played with, that’s one of my memories about him even before he became an NFL player.”
Fralic went on to become the second overall pick of the Falcons in 1985, selected behind Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills. Fralic played eight seasons in Atlanta, starting 115 games at right guard. He finished his career with 16 starts at right guard for the Detroit Lions in 1993. Fralic was a two-time All-Pro and named…