BIRDLAND – Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who was New England’s director of college scouting and played a key role their drafts from 2003 to 2007, is used to being in the second half of the first round.
He was a national scout with New England in 2002. He was named the Falcons general manager on Jan. 13, 2008.
With the Falcons, Dimitroff entered the last three drafts with the third, 24th and 19th picks in the first round.
From 2003 to 2007, New England picked 13, 21, 32, 21 and 24.
Here’s who the Patriots selected.
There has been a lot of draft talk about teams trading back up into the first round to pick-up one of the second-tier quarterbacks. Texas Christian’s Andy Dalton and Florida State’s Christian Ponder are targets of a few teams.
If Washington’s Jake Locker gets past Seattle at 25, someone may covet the Falcons’ pick to select him.
But those teams will need to call with a really sweet deal. Dimitroff is clutching that 27th pick pretty close to his vest.
“There is no question that we’d contemplate that, but with that said, you go into each draft thinking that you want to get the players that you want,” Dimitroff said. “There are going to be a lot of players there in my mind at 27 that can still help us. That would have to be a strong proposition from a team behind us.”
Basically, don’t expect the Falcons to trade out of the 27th spot.
The Falcons are likely leaning towards taking the best pass rusher left. This week Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan, Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn and California’s Cam Jordan are coming for visits. Also, don’t dismiss UCLA’s Akeem Ayers.
The Falcons worked out Ayers on April 9 in Los Angeles. They had him do defensive end and linebacker drills. He’s pretty versatile. While, he ran slow at the combine, he ran a 4.69 at his Pro Day. Check out this video of Ayers, which is designed to show his versatility. CLICK HERE.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog