Q&A: Falcons’ Dimitroff holds post-draft briefing

Atlanta Falcons first-round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon (shown with Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff) addresses the media during a press conference Friday at the team's facility in Flowery Branch. Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

Atlanta Falcons first-round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon (shown with Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff) addresses the media during a press conference Friday at the team's facility in Flowery Branch. Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – Here’s part of the Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff post-draft media briefing.

He talks about all of the pick and addresses why the team did not draft a defensive end.

1 Sean Weatherspoon OLB Missouri 19th

3 Corey Peters DT Kentucky 83rd

3 Mike Johnson OL Alabama 98th

4 Joe Hawley OL UNLV 117th

5 Dominique Franks CB Oklahoma 135th

5 Kerry Meier WR Kansas 165th

6 Shann Schillinger S Montana 171st

DIMITROFF ON FRANKS: “We had an opportunity to acquire a corner who had ,fortunately for us, dropped in the draft a great deal from where he was projected. He’s a fast individual who brings us another good size corner to throw into the competition there in (the) secondary. It will be good to see how that competition works out for Dominique. He also has return skills, which should not be under-stated.

DIMITROFF ON MEIER: “He’s another very smart football player. He was a converted quarterback, who has the skills. He has a very good set of hands. He’s a very good concentration guy. He’s a smart football player and knows the field very well from his time as a quarterback. Again, we are looking forward to him competing for one of the receiver spots. He has good size. He’s a good target.”

DIMITROFF ON SCHILLINGER: “He was a safety that we were focused in on. We brought him in here during our top 30 visits. He’s a guy that we have a good feel for as far as his ability to move around. He’s a speed guy. He’s fast. He’s 4.50 guy at 200 pounds. He can fly around the field. He’s a very smart football player. Hopefully, we’ll have Kroy Biermann help him out along the way and be one of his Montana brethren. He will compete for one of the safety spots as well as be a legitimate potential core specials teams guy. . . Most ideally, he’s a free safety.”

Then he opened the floor for questions.

Q: How is Meier’s speed?

A: “He came in at 4.59. He’s right on that borderline into the 4.6s. But he’s a guy who is 220 pounds, is a good route runner and has a good feel of the field as far as getting to the open spot. You combine that with his concentration and hands, we were comfortable with them.”

Q: “I read some not so positive things about Franks’ play (get beats a lot, reacts poorly to ball in air, heel striker), were those some of reasons why he slipped? Had some bad tape?”

A: “Interestingly enough, I’m not exactly sure why he (slipped). We’ve done a lot of work on the secondary. We always will. Year in and year out, that will be a focused position for us. In the National Football League (you want) to make sure that you’re dialed in on your secondary. As we all know, we saw some of the repercussions of the challenging situations from last year. With that said, we’ve had a number of conversations with a number of teams who were really surprised that he did fall to that point. To me and to our organization, we didn’t expect him to be there because there was a real run on corners after that. There might have been five or six corners who flew off the board. The idea that we were able to get a guy that had good size, he’s proven himself in a league that is a very pass-happy league as well. Again, I can’t stress the fact that not only that, he’s got very fluid movement and he’s got very good return skills that we can build on.”

Q: Have you talked to the Meier family to send your condolences regarding the tragic death of his brother this week?

A: “I haven’t talked to them personally. I have talked to Kerry and delivered the message that he was going to in fact be pick. It’s a very unfortunate and heartbreaking story. To be quite honest with you, when I was talking to him I had that proverbial lump in the throat. You could tell how excited they were. You could hear his family in the background. My heart goes out to the family.”

Q: What was the rationale behind the decision not to take a defensive end in this draft?

A: “We were focused in the first round. . . we decided that with the movement up to the point on picking Sean Weatherspoon that we were going to go with a linebacker. Past that point there were a certain amount of defensive ends that we’d consider. It got to a point . . . like any time when you are talking about marquee pass rushers (were there wasn’t any left.) People that we thought could come in here and be a marquee player for years to come, those players usually go off the board quite a bit earlier than we might have considered. There were some good football players out there. There were some other situations where they might not necessarily fit into our system. So in the end, we feel very strongly about our young guys. We want to continue to develop Lawrence Sidbury. Obviously, Kroy Biermann is a guy who can get us some legitimate pressure. We truly believe as an organization that John Abraham still has the ability to get up the field and around the corner and can still bend naturally. We are hoping that through our continued concentration inside, whether if its with Peria Jerry coming back or Corey Peters, that we are going to open up things on the outside a little bit. As I mentioned before, there are a number of ways to eliminate the explosive plays in the passing game and to improve our pass rush. Not just on the outside, but through the inside and with pressure being created with linebacker blitzes. We have a linebacker that has just joined us in the draft who has legitimate speed. I think we can be creative going forward.”

Q: Is Jamaal Anderson still viewed as an end or is he a full-time tackle now?

A: “He’s still going to be viewed as a defensive end slash defensive tackle. He’s a guy that has some versatility and Coach Smith has talked about it a number of times. There will be scenarios where he’ll be reduced (inside) and other times where he’ll be expected to be outside in the regular defense. We’ll be creative with our sub defense as far as getting the right mix of who we feel are the right pass rushers from play to play.”

Q: What do you have against the Big Ten? (Now, in 26 picks over three drafts, Dimitroff has not selected one player from the Big Ten)

A: “I don’t have anything against them. I love watching their football. I don’t have anything against the Big Ten.”

Q: Do you think Jimmy Clausen could start in Carolina?

A: “Having been under the tutelage of Charlie Weis, he is definitely pro ready. I not very happy to see someone who we determine as being a very good prospect going to a team in our division. Good for them that they got him, but we have to look at it closely.”

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121 comments Add your comment

McBubba

April 24th, 2010
5:09 pm

Come on Birds..
Brandon Lang!
Give the hometown kid some Love!

RobbE33

April 24th, 2010
5:14 pm

I’ve learned to trust TD & Smitty’s staff. We’ve come so far, considering where we’ve been. Let’s get it started!

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
5:14 pm

Yep Brandon Lang. Hopefully he goes undrafted and we sign him as an undrafted free agent. He will be a HUGE steal.

Jeff

April 24th, 2010
5:15 pm

ask why he didn’t draft skill players that would help us in 2010 not 2011 and beyond… ask him how much mckay had to do with the terrible selections.

John Falcon

April 24th, 2010
5:19 pm

We need speed. We just took a step back against Carolina, Tampa and the Saints.

I do agree with Peters—he was one of the few solid DT against the pass, rest were run stuffers. Still we need speed at WR and DE.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
5:19 pm

Jeff shut the heck up. Let the season come and go before you say anything. Brandon Lang goes undrafted. Come on Falcons lets get him.

filtar21

April 24th, 2010
5:20 pm

i still wish we couldve traded out of the first and got two second rounders we could have taken sergio kindle and another linebacker. weatherspoon is good but not good enough that we couldve have done just as well in the second. baltimore new england seattle and cincy i think had great drafts.

Jeff

April 24th, 2010
5:21 pm

Tosin- Are you 12? we didn’t help ourselves this year.

Chop Buster

April 24th, 2010
5:23 pm

There are always so many unknowns with the draft. Some of the guys who we think will come in and dominate don’t, some we never heard of turn out to be play makers, some of the undrafted will be starters. We have to trust that our scouts know that these guys can make our team better. Only time will tell if this draft was a good one or not.

Jeff

April 24th, 2010
5:26 pm

Chop- Agree, but we need to win now. not next year, or the year after, or the year after that. We simply didn’t draft any players to help us win now!

Chop Buster

April 24th, 2010
5:26 pm

One more thing…some of the fans will always know more about which players the team should draft than the people Arthur hired to do so. LOL…y’all crack me up. Ain’t a damn thing any of us can do about who this team picks up–except find another team to support if you don’t like it.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
5:28 pm

Jeff- Im actually 13 and there were questionable picks but you never now how they turn out untill they hit the field in Week 1.

Reid Adair

April 24th, 2010
5:29 pm

Thomas Dimitroff and MIke Smith have earned my respect with what they’ve done to this point. I have no reason to believe that this draft would be anything different.

I look forward to seeing these new guys progress in the Falcons’ system.

Jeff

April 24th, 2010
5:29 pm

you can jump on the bandwagon if you want. I don’t know who woulf have helped us this year, but I know linemen will not. We were young enough already.

Chop Buster

April 24th, 2010
5:30 pm

Jeff, I’m with you on winning now. But what can we do about it as a fan? We can only hope that between our current players, draftees and unsigned FAs we will be better than we were next year. There’s always a diamond in the rough that can be that difference maker. It’s all in how our coaches prepare these younger guys. Look how we competed with a secondary that was almost nonexistent last year. We can only get better.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
5:30 pm

Plus if the Falcons are looking in the direction of RB, they could sign Stafon Johnson RB out of southern Cal. He’s a powerful runner who has a good work ethic. He also has good character.

Jeff

April 24th, 2010
5:37 pm

I wonder what impact it had on our draft with us getting rid of a couple of long time scouts a few months back? and TD standing behind their opinions since he hired them?

Scott Anderson

April 24th, 2010
5:39 pm

Is this really the way Dimitroff speaks ?

You guys make him sound like a moran with all the mis-spoken words.

Geezzz

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waht???

April 24th, 2010
5:44 pm

we lost 7 games last year because we have no pass rush…. we did not address that in this draft??? we passed on everson griffen(twice), ricky sapp, antonio coleman, brandon lang…we need pass rushers!!!!

Nite Owl

April 24th, 2010
5:44 pm

@Jeff:

Linemen will not help us this year?

You do know this is football, right?

Guys go down, and you need solid, coachable, tough guys who can step in at multiple positions.

But nah, let’s not get any linemen.

You are depressingly wrong-headed, and apparently want to dominate this blog today. So enjoy. Just finally had to step up after the linemen thing.

So Jeff...

April 24th, 2010
5:47 pm

you only want to win this year, and not in the future? Weird… I like to see my team succeed all the time… LOL

ian

April 24th, 2010
5:51 pm

well every good team starts up front.ol and dl.if these new ogs can run block than we will kill teams with a good passing attack couse we can eat up the clock.and the new dt is a space eater.if he can get double teams than jb and ja will improve the pass rush.none of the pics were flashy but ol and dl is where it starts.if you give matty ice time he can eat you up.the pics dident trill me but i think they will pay off big in the long run.

Nite Owl

April 24th, 2010
6:05 pm

@Jeff, I’m going to go ahead and tell you how we “helped ourselves” in this draft.

We got a big-time three-down LB to pair with Lofton for the next 10 years.

We got two quality OLs who provide depth at every line position, and can be groomed to take over as starters.

We got a DT who fits our scheme and gives us better depth at a position that rotates a lot of bodies. (See what happened last year when Jerry went down.)

We got a steal with the CB in the fifth round. He’s a keeper.

We got the big, sure-handed possession receiver we needed to convert red zone and third down opportunities when everyone’s keying on TG.

We got depth at safety, which we needed.

We didn’t get a DE because after the first round, none of them could beat out Kroy, Sid, or Chauncey.

We didn’t see a QB, RB, or TE that could have as much impact as the guys we did take at other positions.

That’s not Kool-Aid or bandwagon, it’s just a continuation of good, sound personnel moves that took this franchise out of the toilet and to our first ever back-to-back winning seasons.

But you probably know best.

Bravo Nite Owl

April 24th, 2010
6:08 pm

ATLFANSTUCKINTEXAS

April 24th, 2010
6:10 pm

People..People…People… Remember that 4th thru 7th round draft picks have longer careers than 1st amd2nd rounder….. These are your core players that work hard for there $$$$$$$$…..

old man

April 24th, 2010
6:21 pm

Amen, Nite Owl.

Just one example, but the videos of Meier look a whole lot like a Wes Welker clone. Let these guys do their jobs, for goodness sake. Guess what? Maybe that piece of skill position shiny red candy everybody seems to want is in the free agent market. Maybe our new OLB and DT will make someone already on the roster shine like some player you thought we should have drafted.

Nite Owl

April 24th, 2010
6:28 pm

Thanks, gents.

I like the “shiny red candy” phrase, old man.

old man

April 24th, 2010
6:33 pm

Yeah, when some idiot buys a brand new sports car, and then a year later hurts his back getting in and out of it, or can’t afford it, I like to say, “He’s licked all the red off that candy.” It’s a handy phrase. Some of these players everyone falls in love with, either from lack of skill, or lack of attitude, get the red licked off of ‘em pretty daggone fast. I’ll trust the experts about who they are.

chris taylor

April 24th, 2010
6:34 pm

We filled some holes that needed to be adressed. We got the OL depth. We improved our LB core, got a big body DT resembling a Grady Jackson style, Got a CB that can also return kicks. We got better in a lot of areas. That with players returning from injury we will be better. We didnt lose any next year picks, next draft we can really afford to get a BIG name or two like WR Green even if we don’t pick till the end of the rounds.

ET

April 24th, 2010
6:35 pm

You guys are missing the big picture here. Atlanta did not have any 7th round picks this year while the likes of New England had no less than 4. We had to get our 7th rounders early in the draft before they were gone. New England was stuck picking less than 7th rounders because of our strategy.

(Learning from past posts, I find it necessary to state that this is sarcasm. One would think one could post stuff like this without explaining, but that evidently is not the case here!!!)

old man

April 24th, 2010
6:39 pm

ET, disagree with you, but love your post. Regrettably, your parenthetical was probably needed.

Eric

April 24th, 2010
6:39 pm

B’ham News reports that TE Colin Peek, Alabama, has signed a free agent contract with the Falcons.

ET

April 24th, 2010
6:41 pm

By the way ESPN sports center just listed their winners & losers. Guess what we weren’t listed ion either. Evidently Atlanta wasn’t the glaring loser that some of you guys think we were. I’m just saying…

Nite Owl

April 24th, 2010
6:42 pm

Lol, old man. Love those phrases like “talking with the bark off the tree.” Got to teach a few to TD.

And to me, it’s not just that they’re experts, but experts with a pretty good track record.

I mean, if you want to say “what have you done for me lately” to these guys, they can show 20 wins and a playoff appearance in two years for starters.

They kind of deserve the benefit of the doubt, as opposed to, say, the Redskins.

Nite Owl

April 24th, 2010
6:47 pm

@ET:

Now that was pretty funny. I enjoyed that.

Taking off the Falcons hat and putting on the Hawks hat now. Should’ve signed JSmoove to a FA contract at TE.

See you guys in August.

BlueRidgeDawg

April 24th, 2010
6:48 pm

chris taylor

April 24th, 2010
6:49 pm

Look at NE, and how they draft. TD is moving towards accumilating picks like they do. We’re not losing future picks, we’re gonna have more comp. picks. You have to have a growing pain draft where u don’t get the hype guys everyone wants to be able to build for the future. DT play hurt our pass rush. Now with that addressed and getting better watch our DE’s dominate. Especially that we’ve improved immensely in coverage with Robinson, Spoon, Franks and Moore returning and Decoud getting better. I look for us to get pressure off the edge better, BVG will not be able to mix up blitz schemes better with the players we got. Now we add some more guys in FA and you got one hell of a team. The O-line guys alone will improve our passing/rushing game. Well done under the radar draft.

Mike S

April 24th, 2010
6:55 pm

If the Falcons are shopping at Bama for undrafted FA’s maybe they sign Leigh Tiffen ?

Carter

April 24th, 2010
7:02 pm

Time will tell the “VALUE” in the picks!!! Everything that looooks good ain’t GOOOD!!!! We have all heard that from the WISER man.

GO Big Falcons–i believe

Delbert D.

April 24th, 2010
7:21 pm

Those quotes must have been direct from a recorder-to-text device. TD wasn’t stupid or drunk, I’m pretty sure. Why don’t you go back an put out an edited version, D-Led?

Philip

April 24th, 2010
7:36 pm

I read that the DT from Kentucky was rated as 7th round choice by NFLSCOUT.COM.Everyone knows we need a TE since Gonzalez is gone next year,so why not take Hernandez from Fl.Surely to goodness,with 21 TE’s picked there is one worthy of picking.I’m also worried about WR help.Surely we arent going to depend on Booker,Weems and Mr Injured reserve also known as Finneran.

Delbert D.

April 24th, 2010
7:52 pm

Thank you, D-Led.

One more edit needed: “I not exactly sure why he fail.”

What was TD trying to say? It sounds like he was agreeing that Franks was a failure, and that doesn’t make sense. Maybe it should be “I don’t know why he fell”; i.e, dropped in the draft.

ET

April 24th, 2010
7:55 pm

I certainly would have taken a diffferent pick in the third round and also would have done something different with the first 4th round pick…but I don’t have the same information that TD and company had at the time. Like Carter says above “only time will tell”. Think about this, everyone thought that trading away New Orleans whole draft to get Ricky Williams was a mistake and look how well that panned out for them…well on second thought, maybe that isn’t the best draft move to site here…never mind.

Mama T

April 24th, 2010
7:57 pm

You dummies. I cannot believe it you passed on Brandon Lang. You need a defensive end and I say get rid of Jamal Anderson and get Brandon Lang. You know I have supported the falcons a long time. BUT after this draft I am done. You guys are crazy. Here we go again.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
7:59 pm

Ryan Wolfe WR out of UNLV has signed with the Atlanta Falcons According to NFL.com

Mike F

April 24th, 2010
7:59 pm

I really like Spoon and James but… I like watching the FA walk-ons even more. These guys will work harder than a first-rounder sometimes because they know they have to prove themselves, where the high round draftee is almost on the roster from the word go.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 24th, 2010
8:00 pm

Hello All. Hope y’all had some fun with this. Trying to find out about the CFA’s. (college free agents.)

Michael

April 24th, 2010
8:01 pm

Hey DOL,
Do you have any idea which undrafted free agents the falcons are looking at potentially signing? Brandon Lang looks like a solid DE that could give the falcons a little more depth at the position seeing as John Abraham plays healthy once every blue moon

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:03 pm

D-Led
Falcons sign Ryan Wolfe WR out of UNLV.
Highlights
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wplH8cl3zg

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:04 pm

Hopefully we can sign Brandon Lang also.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:07 pm

Ryan Wolfe is pretty fast. He will be a great slot receiver. He has great hands as well.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:12 pm

This guy is like Harry Douglas but bigger and a bit slower. He is probably a really good steal.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:18 pm

He can throw and block a bit too.

Delbert D.

April 24th, 2010
8:18 pm

Good link on Wolfe, Tosin. Great hands is right.

chris taylor

April 24th, 2010
8:24 pm

Do the college FA’s count against FA’s lost as to negate comp. picks recieved next year?

Jimmy

April 24th, 2010
8:25 pm

We didn’t draft anyone to help us win this year?? Honestly? Seriously? People like Jeff honestly need to shut their pie holes. Let me guess Jeff, you scored 4 TD’s in a high school football game so that allows you to judge college talent better than the people who are paid to, the NFL scouts?!

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:25 pm

Ya I think he is Definately a steal.

Michael

April 24th, 2010
8:28 pm

And of course the front office lets Brandon Lang slip through… This team is doomed until Jamaal Anderson is cut seeing as no one wants to trade for someone that cant sack a quarterback to save his life, let alone penetrate the backfield

GT3O

April 24th, 2010
8:32 pm

Thanks for the info Tosin!

The video is nice, he does have great hands. He looks fast too! I like the signing.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:36 pm

Seems like almost every Falcon rookie has a teamate that they have played with before.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:43 pm

AAAAAAHHHHHHH According to NFL.com AJC reports that Brandon Lang has signed with the San Diego chargers.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:46 pm

BUT, DE Brandon Sharpe of Texas Tech is still there and here are his highlights.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILiCH69hto8
He looks pretty good and fast.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:51 pm

Hes a Monster

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
8:51 pm

Enter your comments hereHe has quick feet,good awareness, and great strength.

Theight

April 24th, 2010
8:55 pm

I think the Chargers quickly signed Brandon Lang as an undrafted free agent or they are going to sign him. Its on the website.

crabapplejoe

April 24th, 2010
9:02 pm

Pleeez….can we stop comparing every European American WR to Wes Welker. Kerry Meier is like six inches taller, forty pounds heavier and runs with a long stride. Welker is small and quick like no other slot receiver in the league….but, yeah, they’re both white and don’t drop too many balls…LOL

bigslow

April 24th, 2010
9:06 pm

had a great time. see you guys next year, same falcon time same falcon channel.

ReddJonn68

April 24th, 2010
9:07 pm

After sitting thru the Glanville years and having numerous so called high end draft picks some panned out, some didn’t, the system didn’t always fit the players as is the case on most of these can’t miss picks. I still say we need some type of gamebreaker on offense or special teams, New Orleans was good but like every single team in the NFL you have to be lucky when the time comes speed always kills if you can get that player in the right spot on the field. How long can Roddy & Turner carry the load. Baltimore is giving Flacco some damn good weapons grow with. Why not Matt !!!!!

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
9:08 pm

Hers another guy who could be a very good future TE for the Falcons
Clemson Tight End Michael Palmer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UAS1lXYSWY

retread

April 24th, 2010
9:09 pm

Many bloggers and AJC writers seem to think Dimitroff’s drafting of players is without question. I disagree!!! Let’s quickly review some of the drafts of ‘08 and ‘09 .
1) Dimitrof has drafted 3 Cornerbacks in his drafts of ‘08 and ‘09. C. Jackson, Middleton and Owens. So why are we having to break the bank on signing free agent D. Robinson ??? None of these selections has shown signs of being anything more than a reserve.
2) Dimitrof has drafted 3 outside linebackers in his two previous drafts. Fontenot, Atkins and R. James. So why are we having to spend our 1st selection on another Outside backer this year ???
3) P. Jerry will be 26 YEARS OLD before he plays another snap. Older than Matt Ryan, Sam Baker, Jamaal Anderson and Lofton. It is not Jerry’s fault he was injuried early and played little last year but a GM must understand when drafting an older player that a bad injury costs much on field time in the long run.
4) Is Sam Baker really worth a 1st round pick?? Often injuried and I suspect if Falcons were offered a 1st for him they would take the trade..
5) William Moore was injury prone in college and quess what – - stayed injuried as a Falcon.

I think Dimitrof is a good GM and very few could have led the team so far so fast – but I think his ability to draft college players is far over-rated.

Tosin

April 24th, 2010
9:11 pm

Ok I’m done for the night. Ill see how things progress over night in the morning.
Peace out all Falcon fans.

who knows?

April 24th, 2010
9:17 pm

how many of you know it alls wanted Glenn Dorsey over Matt Ryan? STFU and let the play of the draftees speak for itself

Freaky

April 24th, 2010
9:18 pm

Please don’t forget Joe Cox slipped thru…. we must sign him as a FA to give Parker some push!

Falcons Fan

April 24th, 2010
9:21 pm

To all you unemployed GM’s and your stupid comments. Drink a big cup of STFU and chill out. Let the draft play out and then comment. I’m sure TD could care less about who you would have selected.

Falcon-34

April 24th, 2010
9:26 pm

retread – I understand your frustration, but many of the picks you mention are later round picks, where few picks make the team, much less become full-time starters.

1)–Chris Owens most likely will win the starting CB job opposite Dunta Robinson. Chevis Jackson has been a valuable nickel-back, especially his rookie year. A given, Middleton was not such a good pick, but did make the Jacksonville Jaguars active roster

2)–Wilrey Fontenot was a CB, one of the few picks who was cut as a rookie. Spencer Adkins was drafted in the 6th round as a pure project and made the team outright, ahead of the oft-injuried Robert James. James was drafted in the 5th round and was assigned to the practice squad after going on IR as a rookie.

3–Good point on Jerry. The riskiest of all of TD’s draft picks.

4–Also a good point on Baker. When he is healthy, he does perform, but it definitely could be considered a reach at this point.

5–William Moore had a fantastic junior year and was injured his senior year. It was a risk when he was drafted, but he looks to win the SS position outright over Erik Coleman assuming he’s healthy.

TD’s had some potential misses for sure (Fontenot, T.Brown, Middleton), some still in question (Moore, Jerry, Baker), but he’s also drafted a ton of excellent players (Ryan, Lofton, Douglas, DeCoud, Owens, Biermann, V.Walker), and several players who hold great potential (Sidbury Jr., Reynolds, Adkins).

gcs

April 24th, 2010
9:45 pm

TE Colin Peek is a steal!

Now go get us a kicker TD.

.

tyler

April 24th, 2010
10:05 pm

The Falcons Defense might have a little somethin somethin for the NFL next year. Coach Smith looked pumped with the Weatherspoon pick. Another DT so he does’nt worry to much about Babineaux. And a new CB ofcourse, I mean the one not drafted in the fifth round today.

I’m ready for some Falcon DEFENSE!!!

Big Ray

April 24th, 2010
10:43 pm

There will be college free agent signings, we just don’t know where.

I think TD and MS wanted a DE like Brandon Graham, but as TD said (in a very round about way), Graham went off the board a good bit earlier than expected. It is what it is.

Weatherspoon has the speed that Rich McKay thought Michael Boley was going to bring. The difference is that Weatherspoon is a hungry head hunter who WANTS to make plays.

I’m not worried about this draft. We certainly picked up some good depth (and competitors for starting spots) on the offensive line, which we needed.

Kerry Meier might surprise some of you. He’s got decent speed to go with his size, think possession receiver, something we’ve been trying to get Michael Jenkins to be (but he just won’t do it).

Who gives a crap if he’s white or otherwise. Long as he can play.

Monger

April 24th, 2010
10:56 pm

Retread- You need to get your facts straight before posting, thankfully falcon34 summed up all your mistakes…and Chris Owens had an excellent 2nd half, and started the quarter of the season, and aside from 2 or 3 rookie mistakes/burns, he played pretty decent. Chevis was drafted to be a solid nickel back, and while he has played a little below average so far, he was good his rookie year, fell off a little last year, but no reason to write him off… Atkins and James were both PROJECTS, and 5th rounders…in otherwords both are extremely athletic guys, but need fine tuning in their techniques and rounding out of their games, I expect both to be excellent back-ups this year, and hopefully provide great depth and challenge Spoon, Nicholas, and Peterson for starting jobs in 2011…I mean really dude?? With those three I named right there, you have to be and outstanding OLB to knock those guys off…Its called depth, and the falcons are really deep at LB, and I personally love it, we have some maniacs, that are strong, young, fast, and love to hit people and play with a passion….Lofton, Nicholas, Peterson, Spoon, Adkins, James, Wire….Im so excited at how deep this group is, and theyre all young, with the exception of Peterson and Wire…you should be excited too…And finally, yes Moore was injured, but it was a one time injury, and he has shown no signs of injurys prior to his ONE injury that unfortunately ended his season…He will be fine, and come back strong, just like Harry Douglass. I am a little concerned about Peria Jerry and his injuries, but I feel with the excellent proffessional strength and conditioning coaches the Falcons organization has, they can work with him, and improve the strength in those knees, and maybe help him with a diet plan, that can make him feel alot better physically and mentally….These falcons are gonna be beasts here for the next decade…Looking forward to years of playoff appearances and a couple super bowls…..GO FALCONS!!!

Monger

April 24th, 2010
11:06 pm

I am a little confused as to why everybody wants Lang?? He was never very productive at a small school, Troy. He runs a 5 second 40!! No I’m not kidding, well its actually 4.99 I believe, and although Im not a big measurables guy, he looks slow on tape, and seemed out of shape entering the draft…There is a reason this guy went undrafted… Also, I think we are deeper at DE than most people think, although I really would have liked to get a guy like Antonio Coleman in the middle rounds, he plays with heart, and was really productive at Auburn. However I am still pleased with John Abraham, who willl have a bounce-back year, and Kroy Biermann, who gets better every year, as our starters. I think Abe if healthy can have double digit sacks, and Biermann can definately improve to the 8-10 range, with an improved interior d-line. Sidburry will have a breakout year, and Chauncey Davis will provide solid run defense and 4-5 sacks…The D-tackles are deeper this year than last, and can sustain a loss like Jerry’s better. It doesnt get much better than Babs and Jerry in the middle, with Corey Peters, Vance Walker, Trey Lewis, Thomas Johnson, and Jamal Anderson providing excellent depth…Look for a much improved rush….especially with a secondary that now has Dunta Robinson, and William Moore coming back to team with DeCoud, who could be a Pro-bowler this year (he’s that good!!!)…

Michael

April 24th, 2010
11:09 pm

Well now we can get him right? Joe Cox for superbowl MVP!

Monger

April 24th, 2010
11:17 pm

Lastly, I wanted to point out the WR depth, as really my only concern heading into the summer… I feel with Roddy White as our #1, and Tony G as our #1 TE, we have two ELITE options as recievers. I like Mike Jenkins more than most on this blog, and really feel he is more valuable to this team than people give him credit for. He’s an excellent blocker, and has alot more speed than people think, he is never going to be a #1, but he can be penciled in for 50-60 catches and 600-700 yards at this point in his career. Harry Douglass, is an amazing, speed burner, coming back off a knee injury, but he is explosive, and should put up some major numbers in the slot. I really like this Meirer guy from Kansas, he has great hands, runs crisp routes, and isnt afraid to go over the middle. He blocks well and is perfect for the falcons scheme.

- My only concern is the #5 spot, which isnt that important, but if you have one or two recievers go down with injuries it is. I really wish we would have kept Laurant Robinson, who I feel is a bona-fide #2, with great hands. My least favorite TD move so far, was trading him. I wish we could have picked up a Brandon LaFell in the 3rd round, or maybe a Jordan Shipley, even though I know LaFell was gone by our pick in the 3rd, I still would have liked that depth alot better than those battling for #5- Finneran, Weems, and Bergeron (I’ve given the 4th to Meirer), I think he will be very good as a rookie, and a solid possession reciever down the road. I hope we pick up a good, speedy veteran to become our #5, because Finneran is done, and has nothing left, and Bergeron just isnt NFL talent. The only one I think could do decent is Weems, who I liked in limited action last year, but adding a solid vet, would really make this team solid at every position heading into the summer…

come on

April 24th, 2010
11:20 pm

please please can we draft offence next year. fine we have now had 2 drafts that r all about the d, and we needed help. if we do not start getting top level players on offence for matt ryan we will just stay average. we need a wideout like crazy and the best we do is some slow can’t stretch the field guy. bso lets hope we don’t have more busts on the d from this draft and have to waste more picks on it next year

Whatever

April 24th, 2010
11:37 pm

Besides Weatherspoon, this draft is a complete bust! why draft 7th round and undrafted talent in the 3rd round? Especially when we didn’t even have a 2nd rounder! This “FootBallintelligence” is a complete scam! A 4.0 GPA is not gonna help you when an average DE knocks you on the ground. Come on TD! The Falcons need playmakers! Not draft busts who want to take up space on the practice squad!

yo mama

April 24th, 2010
11:49 pm

yeah, i guess no one remembers that babineaux will sit the first four games, and getting peters isnt so bad, if he and jerry can fill the middle. getting free agents undrafted in another way to get players. anyone remember john settle, jesse tuggle? give me a harumpf! they gave mel brooks a star on the walk of fame out here in cali. aint that cool.

Dawgforlife

April 24th, 2010
11:51 pm

Phillip….we didn’t draft Hernandez because we are a run first football tean. As such, we need a TE who can seal the edge and block. Hernandez is a very fine pass catching TE. But, he does not block. He will not block. Even if he would block, he is too light to hold the edge. The TE position was not selected in the draft. The reason is simple: TD didn’t find a combo TE he felt was better than any of the picks we made at the time we made them.

Dawgforlife

April 24th, 2010
11:58 pm

come on…Wes Welker is also some slow can’t stretch the field guy. The difference is, he is small also…as for Peters, He led the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss. He will be much more than a practice squard guy. Did the draft go as I planned it? no…but thank God I was not the one planning the draft. If I were, we would have Glen Dorsey, no DeCoud, and I still wouldn’t even know there was a person named Kroy. We will not know the busts from the steals in this draft for about 2-3 years. So, lets let the people who scouted, watched hours of film, worked out countless players, and went all over the country to pro-days, have the benefit of the doubt for now.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

April 25th, 2010
12:11 am

Dez Bryant should have been the Falcons 1st pick …. he is top 10 talent and an Academic All-American. He has never been in trouble with the law or been accused of doing anything immoral. Falcons will regret him going to the Cowboys who kicked Atlanta’s butt all over the field last year.

Whatever

April 25th, 2010
12:15 am

No one knows how good Peters can be, but be real. Is he really worth a third round pick when there were better DT’s in front of him that had yet to be drafted? Im not saying he is a bad player, im just saying he came off the board too early.

Darrin "The Vent King"

April 25th, 2010
12:17 am

@waht??- we lost seven games last year but not all of them were due to lack of pass rush, be for real. Ever heard of Jason Elam? How about the 1st degree burn victims in our secondary? Elam lost two games by himself whiffing on VERY easy kicks please remember that. We win those two games and we make the playoffs…then there were injuries to one of our main cogs on offense Michael Turner that costs us a game maybe two but you can’t due anything about that. Most importantly, pleeeeeaase do not act as if our secondary wasn’t the cause of losing some games with Crisp Houston back there. Crisp was so bad, the Falcons got rid of him as soon as they could for a reason ya know. And oh yeah, they did the same with Elam. Things like not having anywhere near a capable secondary unit or linebackers that can cover (we got killed with shirt dump passes too) had as much to do with the losses as lack of pass rush. If you have no pressure up the middle to force a QB outside toward the ends and can otherwise stay in the pocket all day and pick your secondary (and ours was as weak as any in the league) apart having pass rushing ends isn’t going to do much because opposing teams can double team them knowing your middle is weak, just ask Abraham about that. Teams knew we didn’t have much of a wall in the middle of our D and hence attacked us there all season long (and for the past six seasons) with the run game or by giving the QB all day to throw. Having players like Peria Jerry healthy, Curtis Lofton and Stephen Nichols with another year under their belts, keeping Babs out of trouble and on the field, continuing to develop Sidbury and Biermann, replacing Crisp Houston with a REAL corner, plus adding a fast linebacker in Spoon who can not only cover but make the interior of our defense stronger, make the opposing QB hold onto the ball a little longer, and blitz capable will help make this defense better please believe that. Please don’t get caught up in misguided popular opinion of the day from Madden playing wannabe GMs, there is wayyy more to a legit pass rush than the DE position. The front office IMO did the best that could have been done with what they had to work with. It wasn’t like they had a plethora of high picks or evn one that was high enough that could have nabbed a DE that could have made a difference this coming season anyway and if memory serves me right there is still free agency, the offseason is not over yet. Everyone harping on this draft need to get a grip. This front office brought this franchise from the grips of football h*ll and into our 1st ever back to back winning seasons and a playoff appearance when they were handed a str8 mess when they arrived, please give it some time and give them the benefit of the doubt they WHOLEHEARTEDLY deserve. Like they told us in the beginning it’s a “process” and so far seeing where we are now compared to where we were in three seasons ago, they are definitely making “progress”…GO FALCONS!

froggy

April 25th, 2010
12:25 am

All this angst about “If I were king, here’s who I’d select.” The immense hype surrounding the draft certainly fuels that.

Let’s see, James Harrison, undrafted free agent, practice squad player, cut like four times becomes the NFL’s defensive MVP, gets 16 sacks and makes probably the best defensive play in the history of the Super Bowl. Where were the draft geniuses when he was on the board?

Remember, oldsters, how Dan Marino fell out of the early first because, supposedly, he had an affection for weed? Worked out pretty good for the Dolphins, I’d say.

TD has had his misses, as well as his hits, but it’s too early to say he’s a hero or bum. Another two years then, yeah, you can pick his judgement apart. But as someone who watched Junior Coffey and Aundray Bruce work their “magic” in Atlanta, I’m still thinking this crew is better at talent assessment than we’ve had in the past.

Darrin "The Vent King"

April 25th, 2010
12:31 am

Good post froggy. Some of these folks just don’t what it used to be like with this franchise…smh at the 80’s and most of the 90’s. This current front office has accomplished more in their two seasons at the helm than most ever have.

froggy

April 25th, 2010
12:46 am

Darrin: Thanks, and lest we forget Bruce Pickens, picked by the Birds third overall in ‘91? That’s right, the third player selected and completely unable to play at the NFL level. This list is long and ugly!

waynester

April 25th, 2010
1:04 am

DLed
what about Leroy Vann and Vuna Taliahalamaka as FA’s?

box

April 25th, 2010
1:04 am

If Kiper, McShay, and the rest were such accurate evaluators of talent, they would be in someone’s front office building an invincible team each year. We past on the “Best” DT in the draft in Dorsey a few years back and he sure has been a dominate force, hasn’t he? We only had one round one and no round two picks. Does any team project third round picks to be immediate impact, or marquee players? You have to have lunch pail depth on any team for sustained success.

Season Ticket holder

April 25th, 2010
1:35 am

Osi Umenyiora is not happy in NY, he is 28 years old. He can immediately help John Abraham. Why not package Jammal Anderson and get this deal done??? The Falcons can send a message to the NFC south that they are serious about winning with this upgrade at DE. Far to long we have settled for mediocre play from Jammal Anderson and we have NOT aided John Abraham. He needs the teams support!!!! Please get this done!!!!!! The fans deserve better than 9-7 each year.

The Reaper

April 25th, 2010
1:59 am

Based on his profound insight and extensive experience in this field, I think that we should fire TD and hire ‘whatever’ as our GM. With that genius at the helm we will top the 9ers accomplishment and win 5 Super Bowls in this decade. I say we focus on drafting as many moronic and sociopathic players that we can, as that will ensure continuous success.

tony

April 25th, 2010
6:39 am

this is one of the worse draft I’ve seen by this organization. I see this team being last in our division.

matt mcdaris

April 25th, 2010
7:08 am

why do the falcons always draft these guys from no name schools were the competition is below par we need some home town guys. That play in the SEC were atleast we know there playing against NFL talent.

tony

April 25th, 2010
7:54 am

Oh, by the way, Spoon was a second round pick, Peters and Johnson are both 5th round picks and the rest were going to be undrafted. Dimitroff want everyone to believe that he can take less quality players who will become better pros. That’s not what it is about.

The draft was design for each team to take the BEST athletes to fill their team needs. Mr Dimitroff didn’t take the best players but instead he took players whom he believe is intelligent and will provide depth on the current roster. Judging by the players he choose, he could have gotten them after the draft. Here’s what I mean by taking the best player and the left overs.

Rd 1) Dez Bryant(WR) better than Spoon
Rd 3) Rennie Curran(OLB) better than Peters
Rd 3) Everson Griffin(DE) fill team biggest need
Rd 4) Reshad Jones(S)
Rd 5) Corey Peters(DT) he would have been here at this point
Rd 5) Mike Johnson(OL) he would have been here at this point
Rd 6) Joe Hawley(C) he would have been here at this point

Here are Mr Dimitroff experiment picks:

Dominiques Franks-CB (UDFA)
KerryMeier-WR (UDFA)
Shann Schillinger-S (UDFA)

Again, the draft was design for each team to draft the BEST players not experiment players to improve their teams.

tyger

April 25th, 2010
8:54 am

Overall, this draft is a dissapointment…

yes, it was based on need and they did get depth along both lines, beyond that however, there didnt seem to be any creativity to move up or down for more talented players.

Please forgive us, but its hard to get excited about perennial backups. Peters had a 2.7 grade and was taken in the 3rd rd???? Please, we couldve gotten Peters in the 5th, Hawley in the 7th or FA, Meirer is a FA.

Bottom line half of the players drafted are the equivalent of street FAs. We couldve done a lot better, we left alot of talent on that board.

Blank should be wary of this – I really dont like this heavy Far Mountain West football presence when everyone knows the best football is played right here.

Falcons Fan

April 25th, 2010
9:08 am

Btw, Brandon Lang went to the Chargers!

marcus

April 25th, 2010
9:15 am

i think the falcons are fine they got they’re core players dt drafted by need and who care who was exsposed to go where and what round i seen that alot in the draft teams got who they want the main cocern is were the the guys they drafted what they realy wanted or were yhey plan b’s or c’s that being said u don’t knowwhat u got til u open the probuct and see it in action i that dt thats why we have coaches to coach players up to play how they want them to play or fit the system weatherspoon will start for the falcons lets just go on that i want a de but the good pass rusher where gone so spoon was the best pick for the falcons i like the draft i thought they would of took brisco in the fifth round ever thingelsewas fine u unhappy people have tolook at it like this the falcons weren’t the only team drafting there where 31 other teams

Yellow Submarine

April 25th, 2010
9:21 am

EBAY … APRIL 1, 2011

Sean Weatherspoon Atlanta Falcons Black(est Draft Ever) Jersey … BIDS – 0 … PRICE – $1.00
Corey Peters Authentic Atlanta Falcons NEVER WORN Game Jersey … BIDS – 0 … PRICE – $0.00 free shipping
Joe Hawley Premier “Dimitroff Reach” Falcons Jersey … BIDS – 0 … PRICE – Missing Out On A Quality Pass Rusher
Kerry Meier Vintage (terrible Falcon selection) Atlanta Jersey … BIDS – 0 … PRICE – Missing Out On A Future TE
Shann Schillinger Throwback (into the wavier wire) Atlanta Falcons Jersey … BIDS – “farewell” … PRICE – Missing Out On Another Future TE

sirenman

April 25th, 2010
9:31 am

I hate to continue the comparisons cause I know it’s gonna get repetative but Meier looks alot like Wes Welker ( New England ) not the fastest, not the most imposing physique but smart and intuitive about routes and he sure catches alot of balls and Meier could become Matty’s security blankett just like Welker has been for Tom Brady and to tell the truth we could do worse. That relationship has been a pretty good one.

JoJo the Godfather

April 25th, 2010
9:42 am

tyger, i think blank is happy that his team just posted back to back winning seasons for the first time in team history. he also realizes that his team is becoming very deep with solid football players….peters’ grade came early. take a look at the interest he was getting right before the draft. he was having great workouts and was getting a lot of attention around the league. this team needs a dt with the ?’s surrounding babs and jerry. you can’t take a chance that he’ll be there in the 5th. look at some of the dt’s that went before peters (neal & mitchell). both of those guys were rated below peters. peters, babs, jerry, ja98, lewis, walker & johnson are a young talented group (6 of those 7 will make the 53-man)…give it time, you’ll be happy with OL depth like Baker, Blaylock, McClure, Dahl, Clabo, Reynolds, Svitek, Johnson, Hawley, Romberg, & Ojinnaka (10 of those 11 will make the 53-man). When a couple of those guys leave in FA next year, their replacements will already be in the fold, and supplemental draft picks will follow. it’s a process….i’m not as worried about the occasional small-conference player. i’m excited about the large # of sec, acc & big 12 players on defense (abe, ja98, davis, jerry, peters, walker, lofton, weatherspoon, peterson, robinson, jackson, williams, moore, etc…).

[...] Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff discussed the team’s draft on Saturday [...]

Foie Gras taste goods on Deeznutz

April 25th, 2010
10:19 am

TD and all his talk about FBI and picking good, smart, character kids……and he passed on a Rhodes Scholar for a no name from Montana. Good job Mr. Metrose#ual GM!!!!!

Chop Buster

April 25th, 2010
10:33 am

Wolfe is a baller. He has some speed too to be as big as he is.

Notewise

April 25th, 2010
10:36 am

Morning, D. Led…any word yet on the College Free Agents the Falcons are going to invite to camp?

Yellow Submarine

April 25th, 2010
10:48 am

According to web sources the following undrafted are coming to Atlanta …

WR Ryan Wolfe UNLV
TE Colin Peek Alabama
FB LeRoy Banks Southern Miss
RB Dimitri Nance Arizona St.
LB Bear Woods Troy
LB Weston Johnson Wyoming
DB Rafael Bush SC State
DB Gabriel Derricks San Diego

Mike Jay

April 25th, 2010
11:03 am

Johnson will end up being the best player out of this draft. All these players were team captains in college, have high football IQ, maximum effort guys that most importantly fit the Falcons system. Did they pass up some possibly more talented players? Well sure but all of those players either did not fit our system or had character type issues, which would have made their chances of helping us out less than thee so called less talented players. Could we have drafted some of our picks later? Again Sure we could have. However, it takes two to tango for one thing and trading back is not always possible so maybe you draft a guy 15 spots before he should have been. Who cares if he works out because at least half of player taken between those two spot won’t. These were mostly all under the radar guys. Some of them had their ’stock’ rising since the combine when these websites rated them. Peters for instance: On knock o him was upper body str. During his private workouts he had already showed great improvement in that area which says a lot about him. Falcons saw this and had him rated higher. That being said the saftey most likely would not have been drafted but IMO everyone else would have. Also keep in mind that it only takes one other team who may have scouted the same player who thinks as highly of them as you to make letting a guy you like slip till later risky.

JL

April 25th, 2010
11:13 am

its funny how everyone gets so upset about how good or how bad a draft is before the players ever step on the field. Go back and look at previous drafts and read what all the experts grades were year in and year out. In 2008 cbs rated kansas city as the best draft bc they took glenn dorsey and b. albert. And they rated tennessee with the worst bc they reached on a small fast running back named chris johnson. Look how those turned out.

Art De

April 25th, 2010
11:48 am

OLed, is there any word on the rehab progress of Jerry and Douglas? Are they participating in OTCs?

Santa Cruz Dawg

April 25th, 2010
12:23 pm

The WR Wolfe out of UNLV could be a real suprise. He is the all-time leading reciever in the Mountain West. The report I read on him stated the only reason he was not drafted was because of a late season injury.
Also the TE Peek out of BAMA could also be a real suprise. Dimitrof always seems to find diamonds, in the rough.

Santa Cruz Dawg

April 25th, 2010
12:31 pm

The safety from Montana was the 11th or 12th rated FS on the CBS board, for what thats worth. Montana has a very good program for the size of their school, and I believe Bierman played there. He is a good player with tremendous work ethic. Maybe this dude will be the same type of find!

RM

April 25th, 2010
1:05 pm

jeff- if one of our young O linemen goes down who is suppose to back them up… we dont have a lot of starting positions available which is a good thing. Picks wont be sexy when you have that problem. Our first two picks will have an impact, maybe franks and meier but the rest are for depth…cheap depth. This isnt madden…it is a real business. Just ask Tolin…the 13 year old who has a better grasp than you

RM

April 25th, 2010
1:13 pm

Tony- you should tell Dimitrof that. He will thank you for your expert analysis. It is amazing you have time to do you day job and still scout, watch film, travel to pro days, conduct interviews, hold indvidual workouts etc.. Thanks for thr laugh

SKYROCK

April 25th, 2010
1:33 pm

Its going to come down like it does every year, INJURIES or not. Our record would have been much better without all the injuries we suffered last year. Look at how many good defensive players we had out that would have helped the PASS RUSH. Relax and leave the coaching to the experts.

[...] You can read his interview with the AJC here and arrive at a better understanding of what Dimitroff thinks of our later round picks, but he’s not the kind of guy whose words are dripping with hidden meanings. To get at the why with this draft, you have to look at Dimitroff’s track record. That’s when things start becoming clear. [...]