Atlanta Falcons: Grading All of Thomas Dimitroff’s Draft Class

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Oct 14, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) motions to fans after the game at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Raiders 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports


Round 1 (pick 19): LB Sean Weatherspoon

Round 3 (pick 83): DT Corey Peters

Round 3 (pick 98): OG Mike Johnson 

Round 4 (pick 117): OG/C Joe Hawley 

Round 5 (pick 135): CB Dominique Franks

Round 5 (pick 165): WR Kerry Meier

Round 6 (pick 171): S Shann Schillinger

The Good: Joe Hawley came into this season as the starting center, and he did a very good job until his recent season ending injury. Corey Peters is arguably the team’s best defensive lineman right now, and he’s actually helped the defense generate some pressure this year after coming back from Achilles surgery in week 3. He’s a stud who will be the heart of the defensive line for some time to come, if he can stay healthy of course. Dominique Franks provided some decent depth for a little while, which is pretty solid for a 5th round pick. The first round pick, Sean Weatherspoon, has proven to the be the team’s best linebacker and the heart and soul of the defense when on the field.

The Bad: The problem with Weatherspoon is that he’s had trouble staying on the field. He missed 17 games in his career before this season, and ruptured his Achilles in OTA’s meaning that he’ll miss the entire season this year, totaling his missed games tally at 33: including 25 missed games in 2013 and 2014 combined. Now, it’s hard for Dimitroff to predict injuries but GMs will be criticized if they get players in the first round who end up getting injured often, and TD is no exception. Mike Johnson has also struggled to find the field, missing all of last season and already being placed on IR for this year as well.

Grade: B- It was an overall solid draft class for Dimitroff which deserves an above average grade. Joe Hawley and Corey Peters have turned into very productive players on both lines, and Sean Weatherspoon is one of the best players on defense when healthy. Spoon staying healthy has been a problem. However, as I said, Dimitroff can’t predict injuries but if the player can’t stay on the field then he can’t be productive, and if he isn’t productive then that’s on the GM. Truthfully, if Mike Johnson and Weatherspoon would have stayed healthy (or at least if they had missed just 10-12 games in their career as opposed to over 30 each, counting this year) and productive, then the grade would be in the B to B+ range. It also doesn’t helped TD’s case that none of the players from this class have made the pro bowl.