Dimitroff discusses the draft

Jon Barash

As Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff met with the media on Wednesday, numerous scenarios were brought up in terms of what the team would do with their first pick. The draft is still about one week away and people are still wondering where they could go.

So the question now becomes, what are the Falcons going to do? We do know that this team needs to do two things better in 2014, protect Matt Ryan and get to the other team’s quarterback. The Falcons sit currently in the No. 6 spot in next Thursday’s first round. Dimitroff likes what he sees in the top 10.

“We’re excited to be in that top 10,” Dimitroff said. “There are pass rushers, pass protectors, receivers, and there are linebackers. It’s a very accomplished top 10.”

Many have speculated that the Falcons could try and trade up to get a player the likes of South Carolina defensive end JaDaveon Clowney. Dimitroff says he’s been on the phone with numerous teams, talking many different scenarios.

“You’re getting an idea of what compensation would be if in fact something did come to fruition during the draft,” Dimitroff said. “That’s how we did it back in ’11, I think that’s an important thing whether you travel down that road or not.”

In that trade back in 2011, the Falcons picked up the sixth overall pick from the Cleveland Browns. In turn, they went on to select Julio Jones. Going back to Cleveland, the Falcons sent their first, second, and fourth round picks from that draft. Plus, Cleveland got Atlanta’s first and fourth round picks in the 2012 draft.

Needless to say, that pick up worked well for the Falcons and now could make people wonder if they might try to do the same thing next Thursday night. Dimitroff was asked about whether this team would be in position to take a gamble like that again this year.

“There are a number of really good football players that we would consider,” Dimitroff said. “We always go through that scenario and discuss what truly is worth moving up for to give up picks,”

Dimtroff did mention during his press conference, that relationships built with different organizations could play into the chances that a draft night deal could be pulled off. In that regard, the Falcons do have a great relationship with St. Louis Rams General Manager Les Snead and Jacksonville Jaguars GM David Caldwell. The Rams sit at number two overall and the Jaguars are at number three. Both teams GM’s were members of the Falcons personnel department, before taking over these teams.

That being the case, the Falcons GM does admit the sixth pick in the draft doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll only consider moving up on Thursday night.

“It allows us to think about the ability to move back as well,” Dimitroff said. “There is some really potentially good opportunities to move back and pick up some picks as well.”

One other scenario to look at during this year’s draft, is what the team will do to address the overall toughness of their team.

“Bigger and stronger is always better,” Dimitroff said. “I feel we have a tough football team here and we’ll continue to stress the adding and ramping up of our ruggedness here. That’s something I’m excited about as well.”

The Falcons have already added defensive line help in defensive end Tyson Jackson and defensive tackle Paul Soliai in free agency. Plus, they have also added offensive line help in the forms of tackle Gabe Carimi and guard Joe Asamoah. Not to be forgotten are secondary additions of safety Dwight Lowery, plus cornerback’s Javier Arenas and Josh Wilson. As well as return specialist Devin Hester.

These moves have freed up the Falcons the ability to play around with the depth a little bit before draft night. That could mean that another draft night trade could be on the horizon. But, would it be worth just possibly moving up three or four spots?



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