Thomas Dimitroff is Smarter Than Me

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.

Washington State v USC

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.

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Tags: Alex Carrington Atlanta Falcons Carlos Dunlap Corey Peters Everson Griffen Mike Johnson NFL Draft Thomas Dimitroff

  • Michael McIntosh

    I agree with you on the questioning at first but TD is on the money. I questioned Griffin also when you was a underachiever his first two years at USC. This is his 3rd year and he had a good year. The questions are there regarding his work effort and maturity so I see why the Falcons and many other teams passed on him. There were several other DE that went in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd and he was not picked. There is something going on with the kid and the Falcons are not the only team that realizes that. I like the Peters pick he is better than two or three of our DT on our roster right now. He can get bigger and stronger. We have Thomas Johnson(who did not follow insturction all that well last year.) Trey Lewis(who I like but last year was his first year coming of two knee operations) Vance Walker(was a good surprise) Johnathan Babineaux(Will probably serve two or three games suspension) Peria Jerry(Is coming off ACL injury and contrary to many beliefs will not be at full strength this his) Jamal Anderson(enough said) Peters is a good pick up and he will work hard and get better. MIchael Johnson is a good guard and he adds depth at the offensive line.I see us taking another OL, TE. LB, WR with these next 5 picks.

    • Troy Heinzman

      Thanks for stopping by Mike. I have come around to your way of thinking on Griffen. Apparently the Vikings thought it would be worth it.

      The defensive line rotation will definitely be fresh. A lot of bodies to work with and they only need 2-3 to work out.

      Still think they reached a lot in this draft so it will be interesting to see how they (and the UDFAs) fit into the scheme.

  • funballad

    so we picked 2 OL we reached way down to pull them up to us.
    Does anyone think they will be able to handle tampa bays new tandem of Gerald McCoy and Brian Price twice a year?
    If so then this draft was a success, If not then this was a loser draft.
    Why pass on Tennant for either of these 2 we picked?
    I am gonna be sick watching Tennant snap for the Aint’s twice a year when we could have gotten him.

    it sure seems that the comrade’s magic is gone this year to me.

    • Troy Heinzman

      That was my first thought too, FunBallad. The Franks pick was a great value and Weatherspoon seems like a lock but the rest all come with question marks. Some with even more punctuation. #@$%!!!