Falcons GM’s discuss team’s draft options

Photo by AtlantaFalcons.com

When Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff met with the media on April 30, numerous scenarios were brought up in terms of what the team would do with its first pick. The draft was still about one week away and fans 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 Thursday’s first round. Dimitroff likes what he sees in the first few picks.

“We’re excited to be in that top 10,” Dimitroff said. “There are pass rushers, pass protec- tors, 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 like South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Dim- itroff says he’s been on the phone with numer- ous 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 in this year’s draft. 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 dis- cuss 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 No. 2 overall and the Jaguars are at No. 3. Both teams’ GM’s were members of the Falcons’ personnel department prior taking over these teams.

That being the case, the Falcons’ GM does admit the sixth pick in the draft doesn’t neces- sarily 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 are 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 its overall toughness.

“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 end Tyson Jackson and tackle Paul Soliai through free agency. They have also added offensive line help in the forms of tackle Gabe Carimi and guard Jon Asamoah. Not to be forgotten are the secondary additions of safety Dwight Lowery and cornerbacks Javier Arenas and Josh Wilson and return specialist Devin Hester.

These moves have given the Falcons the ability to play around with depth a little bit before draft night. That could mean another draft night trade could be on the horizon, but moving up three or four spots remains in play.

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