Yesterday I posted an article detailing how the Atlanta Falcons needs to focus on Defensive End in the third round and grab the best available pass rusher.
I listed some possible names that might be there at the 83rd and 98th overall picks. Names like Carlos Dunlap, Alex Carrington and Everson Griffen.
Dunlap went off the board in round 2 to Cincinnati and Carrington followed in round 3 to Buffalo. But Griffen was still there.
He was there at 83 when the Falcons took DT Corey Peters out of Kentucky. He was still there at 98 when the Falcons took OG Mike Johnson from Alabama.
Watching the draft I was alternating between excitement (when I realized Griffen might still be there at 83) to disappointment (when the Falcons passed on him.)
These emotions repeated again for pick 98 and I turned off the draft very disappointed that the Falcons passed on a player some experts rank as a Top 30 overall prospect.
Then I woke up. Literally.
I looked at the situation anew. I shook out the cobwebs of pre-conceived notions and hit the reset button. For Thomas Dimitroff and the Falcons front office, the draft has gone exactly according to plan.
Griffen is the antithesis of the type of player the Falcons, under this new regime, want to bring in. Let’s break down why.
- Questionable work ethic: As most Falcons fan will attest, Dimitroff loves hard workers. The biggest knock on Griffen is his hot-and-cold demeanor in the weight room and on the field. The Falcons don’t want a player they fear might take plays off.
- Underclassman: As Scott Carasick points out, since 2008 the Falcons have drafted 22 players and 21 have been seniors. They like guys they have as much tape on as possible.
- Trouble off-the-field: This was the no doubt the third strike. The talent upside was not enough to tilt the scales in his favor.
So while I went to sleep last night angry that we didn’t solve, what I thought was, our biggest issue (Defensive End), I realized something much more profound.
The Falcons front office has given us no reason to second-guess. Not yet, anyway. For 2.5 drafts they have made sound picks and drafted players that fit their program.
With the final 5 picks today, the Falcons might fill out their roster with the top needs on my board: a cornerback, wide receiver, tight end and a placekicker. Or they might not.
Thomas Dimitroff is smarter than me. And I’m okay with that.
What do you think? Were you hoping the Falcons made different decisions in the 3rd round? Are you happy with the choices? Let me hear it in the comments.