Rank Thomas Dimitroff’s Atlanta Falcons Drafts

6 NFL Drafts in the Books

2008: Likely Never Topped (AJC)

As the Falcons and Football “dead zone” rolls on, thought it would be a good idea to take a look at all of Thomas Dimitroff’s NFL Draft classes and see which ones were the best and which ones weren’t as good. Every franchise say they want to “build through the draft,” but Dimitroff and the Falcons actually put their money where their mouth is concerning drafting and keeping their own. In fact, they are only second to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL of drafting and keeping their own players.

Not only is the drafting part impressive, but what sets the Falcons GM and overall organization a part from the rest is the fact that they keep the players they want. It’s hard to think of any player they haven’t held onto if they’ve really wanted to keep them. Obviously, some have been a little better than others and some of the more recent ones have yet to be rendered a final verdict. But before we take a look at ranking Dimitroff’s drafts, there is some recognition to be had………..

5th Annual Atlanta Falcons Mock Competition

Champion

Jimbo73 – 17 points

Jimbo had the Falcons taking Robert Alford in the 2nd round (4 points), Zeke Motta with the 2nd 7th Rd compensatory pick (4 points), Stansly Maponga (3 points), and got 6 positions correct (6 points).

Runner-Up

Screen Pass – 11 points

Screen had us taking Malliciah Goodman in the 4th round (4 points), a CB in the 2nd rd (2 points), and chose 5 positions correctly.

Thanks to all of you who participated in our mock competition. If you feel I missed one of your mocks that may have won, please email and I’ll get it correct as soon as possible.

(Ranked Best to Worst)

#1) 2008 Draft

1st Rd) Matt Ryan, Sam Baker

2nd Rd) Curtis Lofton

3rd Rd) Chevis Jackson, Harry Douglas, Thomas DeCoud

5th Rd) Robert James, Kroy Biermann

6th Rd) Thomas Brown

7th Rd) Wilrey Fontenot, Keith Zinger

Currrently on Team – 6; Current Starters – 4; Pro Bowlers – 2; Made Team at Some Point – 9

Ryan, Baker, and DeCoud

Maybe it will simply never be topped because of who the Falcons got at the top. Matt Ryan is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL and is already close to being the Falcons all-time best QB, if he’s not already there. He’s won Rookie of the Year and been to two Pro Bowls in his first 5 years. Also looking at other teams seeing how an unstable and weak QB situation can wreck a team, the Falcons are sitting in great shape because Ryan has been so good and he was such a superb pick.

The Cage!

Sam Baker was long thought to be one of TD’s worst overall picks, trading away picks to move up and select the former USC Trojan in the first round. He only started a handful of games as a rookie, but barely missed a start the next two years. 2011 was a bad year not just for Baker, but also the entire offensive line. Baker lost his LT spot to injury and even lost the right guard spot to Joe Hawley a little later in the season. In the final year of his contract, Baker had perhaps his best year under Pat Hill’s tutelage. Baker was not the main concern at all and did a good job protecting Ryan’s blindside.

Thomas DeCoud has been a stalwart for the Falcons in terms of starts since his second year in Atlanta. Like Baker, he’s had some ups and downs in his career as well. He had an excellent first year, only to disappear for a few years until he had a Pro Bowl season in 2012. DeCoud still needs some major work on tackling, but his cover skills are very good. Not too bad for a 3rd round compensatory pick.

Bursts and Flashes

Big Year for HD (AJC)

Harry Douglas is the big mystery of this group. He had a sensational rookie season, where he caught many balls, showed separation after the catch, returned punts, and even ran reverses. He tore his ACL in 2009 and has never seemed the same since. There have been bursts and clips here and there, but overall he’s definitely not “blown up” as many thought with so many weapons around him. His job as the slot receiver seems to be safe for now, but that might chance if he has another mediocre year in 2013.

Kroy Biermann has been a very good draft pick as well. But like Douglas, it seems his best was earlier in his career. He notched 5 sacks in a rotation as a rookie, but hasn’t taken the next step even though he’s had a ton of opportunities. He did, however, find a nice niche in Mike Nolan’s defense and could finally be ready for the leap many have expected.

The Rest

Somehow, Robert James is hanging around the roster, but may finally be pushed out once and for all this season. One of Dimitroff’s worst draft picks was CB Chevis Jackson from LSU. Jackson had a pretty good year as a rookie, even intercepting a pass in the playoffs, but he went downhill quickly after that. He made the team in 2009 and had decent stats including two starts, but was released in the final roster cutdown in 2010. Jackson was completely out of football by 2011. Curtis Lofton was a good Falcon for the time he was here, but presumably wasn’t deemed necessary by new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and went to the Saints in free agency.

Who's this guy? (AJC)

Thomas Brown was a good pick and had potential, but injuries derailed his career in the NFL. Wilrey Fontenot never made the team as a rookie, one of the few in a Thomas Dimitroff draft, and Keith Zinger didn’t make the team but hung around on the practice squad for a year.

#2) 2011 Draft

1st Rd) Julio Jones

3rd Rd) Akeem Dent

5th Rd) Jacquizz Rodgers

6th Rd) Matt Bosher

7th Rd) Andrew Jackson, Cliff Matthews

UDFA’s) Kevin Cone, Drew Davis

Currently on Team – 5; Current Starters – 3; Pro Bowlers – 1; Made Team at Some Point – 6

He’s Worth It

Fans were split and it was one of the most controversial draft decisions in a long time when the Falcons gave up 5 picks to trade up to select wide receiver Julio Jones. Most felt (and some still do) that it was way too much to give up for a receiver. It was a lot to give up, but Jones proved his worth this season, making the Pro Bowl as well as having one of the best playoff performances for a wide receiver in recent memory. The pairing of Jones with Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez was one of the biggest reasons the Falcons were only a few yards shy of making the Super Bowl.

No All-Pros, but Promising

The jury is still out on Akeem Dent at middle linebacker, but he showed enough talent for the Falcons to let Lofton walk in free agency for a high price. Dent struggled early on in run support and taking angles and was particularly weak in coverage. He did, however, make some good progress towards the end of the season, especially considering that nickel back Robert McClain played more snaps than Dent did.

Great Pick (AJC)

Jacquizz Rodgers hasn’t turned into Maurice Jones-Drew just yet, but he has been a great addition since his rookie year. Even though Quizz has only scored 4 total touchdowns in two years, he has seen great progress both in the run game as well as the pass game. He more than doubled his receptions and receiving yards and almost doubled his rushes and rushing yards from his year 1 to year 2. He accounted for almost 800 total yards in 2012 and no one will forget when Rodgers trucked All-Pro safety Earl Thomas en route to a 45 yard run. The question is now whether Rodgers can be a full-time back when Steven Jackson exits and whether or not he may see his touches go down with supremely versatile Jackson coming to town.

Matt Bosher was another pick that was immediately panned by many fans. Why in the world would Dimitroff spend a valuable 6th round pick on a punter, especially after giving up tons of picks for Jones. Bosher had a shaky start, but has settled down nicely into a very good punter for the Falcons. The selection of Bosher also allowed the Falcons to part ways with former punter Michael Koenen, who received the franchise tag the year before that.

Another Starter?

Cliff Matthews not only is a seeming lock to make the roster again, but he’ll also be locked in tough position battle for a starting spot at defensive end. The former Gamecock has been a very valuable defensive lineman after being taken in the 7th round. Coach Smith recently said that Matthews has put on 10-15 lbs, so that would put him close to 280 or 285. Perhaps they see Matthews playing more of a 5-technique role in any 3-4 looks.

Big Cliff Could Improve this Draft (AJC)

The only miss in the draft was guard Andrew Jackson. He didn’t make the 53 man roster as a rookie, but spent some time on the practice squad before being released. He is now with Buffalo Bills. They also pulled two receivers (Cone and Davis) from the undrafted pool that made the squad in 2012.

#3) 2012 Draft

2nd Rd) Peter Konz

3rd Rd) Lamar Holmes

5th Rd) Bradie Ewing, Jonathan Massaquoi

6th Rd) Charles Mitchell

7th Rd) Travian Robertson

UDFA) Dominique Davis, Pat Schiller, Peyton Thompson, Phillipkeith Manley, Micanor Regis

Currently on Team – 7; Current Starters – 1; Potential Starters – 4;

Many Projections, No Proof Yet

It may be unfair to rank this one ahead of the 2010 draft, but the projections for starting spots are what puts this one above. Right now, there is only one player from this draft that is a definite starter and that’s Peter Konz. The former Badger is expected to move over to take McClure’s place at center. Even though he had a somewhat rough start, Konz settled down nicely working at right guard in 2012. If fans are lucky, Konz will be the next McClure and a stalwart on the OL for the next decade or more.

Can Holmes Win it? (AJC)

Past Konz, however, there’s a bunch of guys who are “projected” to be starters. Even though it’s mentioned as a position battle for right tackle, it will be an absolute shock if Lamar Holmes doesn’t take over there. He has the size and athleticism to really add a potential upgrade to that position. If Holmes slides into the right tackle spot and does well, it would have to be considered a major success without a first or a fourth round draft pick from the Jones trade. If Holmes loses the spot to Mike Johnson, than this draft would be dropped below 2010.

Bradie Ewing and Jonathan Massaquoi are the other Falcons from this draft class that are expected to win starting spots, or at a very minimum play very large roles in 2013. The Falcons released Ovie Mughelli as soon as they drafted Ewing, so all expectations are that he’ll be the starting fullback assuming he’s recovered from last year’s injury during preseason. Massaquoi is the other question mark. Most feel that he’s in pole position to grab the other starting DE position opposite Osi Umenyiora. The former Troy product seems to have the speed and QB rushing ability to make an impact at defensive end, but he’ll have some major competition.

Great Depth and Maybe More

The Falcons also hauled in some excellent depth in this draft class as well. It seems that Charles Mitchell is the safety they thought they were getting when they took Shann Schillinger a few years back. Mitchell seems fairly locked in as the backup strong safety. Ordinarily, he may get a chance to start at some point, but since both DeCoud and William Moore are Pro Bowlers ahead of him, that seems unlikely right now.

DDavis Gives 2012 a Boost (AJC)

Big Travian Robertson is looking to take over Vance Walker’s spot in the rotation and may could move ahead of Peria Jerry if he performs well enough. Most fans were puzzled when they didn’t re-sign Walker, but the Falcons are reportedly high on Robertson and they obviously feel that he’s ready to assume a major role in the rotation. Robertson can play both DT in a 4-3 or also a 5-technique in a 3-4.

Finally, you also have to consider the haul of undrafted free agents that the Falcons took in. Dominique Davis made the jump in his first year and is the Falcons solid backup quarterback. They also have several other players that seem in line to take a roster spot on the 53 man squad, including CB Peyton Thompson, OG Phillipkeith Manley, DT Micanor Regis, and LB Pat Schiller.

#4) 2010 Draft

1st Rd) Sean Weatherspoon

3rd Rd) Corey Peters, Mike Johnson

4th Rd) Joe Hawley

5th Rd) Dominique Franks, Kerry Meier

6th Rd) Shann Schillinger

UDFA) Michael Palmer

Currently on Team – 6; Current Starters – 2; Made Team at Some Point – 8

Solid, Not Great

Weatherspoon was a very good pick and he’s the unquestioned leader of the defense now. He’s been extremely good, but he’s yet to hit the switch on being great. Many thought he was on his way there before he got injured last year, but it’s certainly not enough to make up for the rest of the draft.

Spoon's Yet to Turn Corner (AJC)

Corey Peters was one of those “what?” picks when his name was called, especially after taking Peria Jerry the year before in the first round. The former Wildcat has been a very solid pick in the third. Before he was injured late in 2011, Peters had started every game except two since he was a rookie. He’s also had 5 interceptions as well as 4 passes defensed. Peters was never back to full health in 2012, but he seems ready for another good season back in his old starting spot.

Too Many Backups

Even though they have yet another chance to break the starting OL lineup, the choices of Mike Johnson in the 3rd and Joe Hawley in the 4th have to thought of as bad picks thus far. Taking offensive linemen this high should warrant starters, but neither has earned a permanent spot on the OL. Hawley took over at right guard in 2011 and did pretty well, but then he turned around and lost that job to Garrett Reynolds in 2012.

Franks on Outside Looking In? (AJC)

Mike Johnson has earned only 1 start the entire time he’s been a Falcon. He’s failed to make a move at right guard since Harvey Dahl left, despite being the highest drafted prospect of the group. In fact, he’s lost out to a player that’s only started right tackle his entire career (Reynolds). He may beat out Lamar Holmes for the right tackle spot, but don’t count on it. Both Hawley and Johnson are extremely valuable and versatile backup offensive linemen, but you don’t take backup OL in the 3rd and 4th rounds.

Not Even on Team…….Perhaps

It may be a little too critical to knock Dimitroff for 5th and 6th rounders not making an impact or even making the team, but that’s how high he’s raised the bar on himself. Dominique Franks is still technically on the team, but it seems like he may not make it going forward. After all, he was cut last year and only brought back when Tim Toone and Brent Grimes were injured. Franks showed some upside early in his career, but evidently has not progressed enough to warrant a spot. Not only that, but the Falcons just added two new cornerbacks via the draft in Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, not to mention Peyton Thompson and Terrence Johnson on the practice squad.

Meier an Injury Bust-out (AJC)

Kerry Meier and Shann Schillinger may simply be a case of losses due to injury, but neither made an impact whatsoever and Meier is no longer with the team and Schillinger seems destined to follow him soon as well. Injuries obviously can’t be predicted or helped, but these picks were questioned by many fans even when they were drafted. Michael Palmer had been a very good #2 tight end and seemed to be a part of future plans, but was recently signed away by the New York Giants. That seems particularly odd since he was a restricted free agent.

#5) 2009 Draft

1st Rd) Peria Jerry

2nd Rd) William Moore

3rd Rd) Chris Owens

4th Rd) Lawrence Sidbury

5th Rd) Garrett Reynolds, William Middleton

6th Rd) Spencer Adkins

7th Rd) Vance Walker

Currently on Team – 3; Current Starters – 2; Made Team at Some Point – 7

The Lone Good Picks

William Moore was an excellent pick in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft. He just made the Pro Bowl in his 3rd full year as a starter and just got signed to a very nice contract, keeping him in red and black virtually for his career. He’s a cornerstone to build around on the defense in general and particularly in the defensive backfield. Moore was originally projected to be a high pick in the first round as a junior, but when he came back for his senior year, an injury dropped him to the second and Dimitroff and the Falcons are the beneficiaries.

Who Knew Reynolds would be 2nd Best pick (AJC)

Garrett Reynolds has turned out to be a very integral part of the Falcons offensive line, both as a backup and a starter. Even though he had always played right tackle in his career, he did everything he could to get on the field and moved to compete for the open right guard spot. He won the job in 2011 and had a rough start, being replaced by Joe Hawley later in the year. However, he won the right guard spot for a second consecutive year and had a very good season until he went on the injured reserve. The former Tar Heel was re-signed and is lead candidate to win the right guard spot yet again.

Starts at the Top

Of course Peria Jerry will get all the criticism as easily being Dimitroff’s worst overall draft pick. It may be a little unfair, because Jerry was roundly considered to be one of the best defensive tackles in the 2009 draft class after BJ Raji. And also to be fair to Dimitroff, that draft class didn’t produce a ton of All-Pro’s late in the draft. However, only two picks after Jerry was taken, the Green Bay Packers took you know who, and that said player has become one of the best defensive players in the entire NFL. It’s easy and maybe unjust to look back at draft classes and draft picks with 20/20 hindsight, but the Falcons also needed help at linebacker as well, especially since they let OLB Michael Boley walk in free agency. Maybe Jerry would have been what everyone hoped if he hadn’t got injured so early in his NFL career. And it seems that Jerry has one more chance at redemption in 2013, and by relation, another chance to help Dimitroff with this overall stinker of a draft class.

It Gets Much Worse

Even though Jerry will get all the criticism at the top, he’s at least still on the team with one more crack at it. The same can’t really be said for the rest of the draft picks. Chris Owens will definitely go down as one of TD’s worst picks as well. The Falcons GM spent a 3rd round pick on a fairly unknown corneback who not only didn’t produce or get on the field, but is not even with the team anymore. Owens had his best year as a rookie when filled in late in the season alongside Brent Grimes to do a pretty good job. Those two were manning the outside when the Falcons needed to win 3 straight (two on the road) to break that long-dreaded back-to-back streak.

At least Middleton's still in NFL (AJC)

However, it only got worse from there. He was replaced by Dunta Robinson in free agency and could never get back his rookie form. He struggled mightily in the nickel, highlighted by a dreadful performance in the “Debacle in the Dome” (even though he was unfairly solely scapegoated at times). He got beat out by Robert McClain for the nickel in 2012 and the rest is history. He was allowed to walk to Cleveland in free agency, and the draft pick is officially rendered a bust.

William Middleton was the second cornerback drafted in this draft class and he couldn’t even make the roster as a rookie. He was assigned to the practice squad and then stolen by Jacksonville, where he’s been a serviceable cornerback. He obviously had enough talent to stick around the NFL, so maybe someone messed up either coaching him or assessing his long-term value. Either way, he didn’t make a squad in dire need of cornerbacks at the time.

Spencer Adkins was a 6th round pick, so it’s not like it was a total bust, but he was always a project and only seemed fit for special teams duty. He made the team his first 3 years and even filled in for a start one time, but he failed to ever gain any serious traction at being anything more than a special teams player. At this point, the miss on an LB seems more prominent since the Falcons will likely rely on undrafted free agents to fill the spots.

This One’s on Coaching and Development

You can’t blame Thomas Dimitroff and his staff for taking DE Lawrence Sidbury. The former Richmond product showed actual production at the NFL level, notching the most sacks by any DE not named Abraham the past 4 years, and even that came with sparing playing time. For whatever reason, Sidbury never got a fair shake and he wanted out of Atlanta so desperately that he took a paltry $715k / 1 year deal with the Colts to get out of Atlanta. And it’s not exactly like the Falcons had a ton of option at defensive end, in case you’ve lived under a rock the past 5 years. You can’t fault TD for this one because the guy had talent. You can look squarely at one Mike Smith for Sidbury’s failed time in Atlanta.

Good, but Now Gone

One of Dimitroff’s best overall picks was 7th round pick Vance Walker. The former Yellow Jacket played in every single game over four years except for 6 as a rookie. He also made 11 total starts (9 of them coming this year) and pulled down 5 total sacks the past 2 seasons. Walker made the rotation as a rookie and only moved up from there. This seems to be a case of simply having to replace guys like this for he commanded $2 million a year contract from the Oakland Raiders. Most fans are upset at losing him, but the front office may have felt that was too steep to pay a rotation player and Walker wasn’t going to start over Peters when fully healthy.

To Be Determined) 2013 Draft

1st Rd) Desmond Trufant

2nd Rd) Robert Alford

4th Rd) Malliciah Goodman, Levine Toilolo

5th Rd) Stansly Maponga

7th Rd) Kemal Ishmael, Zeke Motta, Sean Renfree

It’s impossible to rank the most recent draft class since they have yet to play a real NFL down, but this one has a very high ceiling. They likely found a foundational rock at one cornerback spot in Trufant nd maybe another in Alford. They pulled a major infusion of versatile talent at defensive end with Goodman and Maponga and maybe a tight end of the future in Toilolo. Perhaps choosing both Ishmael and Motta will allow Nolan to run a new defensive scheme and Renfree seems like a keeper to develop as well.

187 comments Add your comment

Samuel

May 20th, 2013
4:58 pm

I’ll give Dimitroff a C+ Some of his picks have under performed and there are a few selections on that roster who have performed- mainly Weatherspoon, Robert McClain an the two safeties are solid. Offensive line picks have held up but none are exceptional. Julio Jones was his best draft pick to me so far.

Samuel

May 20th, 2013
4:59 pm

and Matt Ryan……………..

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JJ

May 20th, 2013
5:22 pm

D3, Great post again, did you write all of this after the braves game? Ill comment later on this new blog but have to respond to my fav officer.

JJ ,

What….you didn’t like the response video I posted?

lol, You’ve got some nice dance moves and looking good after dropping the weight. But if I had to choose between your dancing at QT or your singing at the gas pump, your singing wins hands down.
Especially during your “Sweet Dreams” version while you were pumping gas and providing back up to your gorgeous wife!!!

Paddy O

May 20th, 2013
5:30 pm

considering how successful we have been since TD, HC MS and MR2 have arrived, I’ll grade these guys out a A-. To me, we are one year behind in the process. This year, we should at least arrive at the promised land – I pray though that our O line is more stout.

Paddy O

May 20th, 2013
5:34 pm

I’m hoping The Octopus gets some serious field time. I’ve liked what I”ve seen in very limited playing time – and his penalty for bapping the face mask was pure crap last year.

Mechee

May 20th, 2013
5:34 pm

@d4wg pound. I hope your not a Cleveland Browns fan…. Lol. They never even made it to the Super Bowl… Wow… Go Dirty Birds!

JB Falcon

May 20th, 2013
8:04 pm

“Rank TD’s drafts”, good subject and good post. TD has built this team like a brick mason builds a house. The first. bottom, row, 2008, must have the strongest and most solid bricks. That would have to be MR. Without him, everything added since would be subject to falling down if MR were to crumble. Every draft since has had some jewels, solid bricks, and some not so solid. TD has done a good job of weeding out the weaker ones and adding more solid ones.
We’ve had some wear and tear over the years and some have aged out but TD has kept replacing the weak and old with more solid players. Bricks last a long time and right now the wall has become, over the years, pretty solid. We’re building younger, bigger and faster and better. I’m going with an “A”. I’ll save the plus until they bring home the Lombardi…..three times.

Arno

May 20th, 2013
9:50 pm

To see it laid out like this– very interesting. Great job, D3. So many tidbits– I’ll pick out one: Quizz 5R, then Ewing 5R, then SJackson FA– all coming together for 2013.

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Wings

May 21st, 2013
6:57 am

Wings

May 21st, 2013
7:46 am

Wow D3, the Cage is the key story on AJC Falcons Sports page with pic of Matt Ryan. Congrats!!!

Heisenberg

May 21st, 2013
7:46 am

I’ll agree with the TD draft rankings. And I also agree that the winner of the RT position sways it one way or another. I fully expect Lamar Holmes to take it, though.

Another thing really stuck out to me about this post. TD drafts very well with top picks. Matt Ryan, Baker, Julio, Weatherspoon in the first round, then Lofton, Konz, and William Moore in the second round. That’s a high success rate. Granted, you expect first and second round picks to make significant contributions over time, but not many GMs can say they hit on 7 out of 8 first and second round picks (maybe 8 of 8 if Jerry shows up this season – I know, I know, one gigantic IF).

TD always got credit from me for what he did in the middle and late rounds since that’s mostly a crapshoot, but until I just saw it all laid out, it’s easy to relate a TD first round with PJ and pre-2012 Sam Baker. For mostly only have a 20+ draft slot, he’s done some great things. We can’t forget that he was only “gifted” with the early Matt Ryan pick. Everything else, he’s manufactured into something.

D3: I’ll pick up from the last thread… With Breaking Bad and The Office going off, I’ll definitely be searching for some new TV. Two of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen. And though The Office’s final season was down from past years, in my opinion, it all made sense in that finale. The Office couldn’t have gone out any better than that last episode… I loved Justified in the first season, but lost track of it. I’ve been meaning to catch up since then. That’ll make for a great week this summer most likely.

John Waynesworld

May 21st, 2013
7:58 am

Good post, D3. I agree with the order. 2009 was a real stinker alright. When a team’s last draft pick at #210 overall ends up being alot better than their 1st draft pick at #24 overall, it’s a stinker. Moore saved the whole draft from going down in history as the worst ever.

2008 – A+ Based on the ultimate decision to go QB at #3. Alot of hits in this draft.
2009 – D+ Moore, Walker, and a bag of footballs. Far too many misses.
2010 – B- Two hits and two solid backups, not bad.
2011 – B+ The Julio pick took balls, plain and simple. Mostly hits.
2012 – B- A handcuffed draft, and the final grade really depends on Holmes.
2013 – A- I am really excited about this defensive draft, handled by a proven DC.

WaltB.Ball

May 21st, 2013
9:24 am

TD has done a creditable job with his drafts. There is no guarantee on whether a draft pick succeeds in the NFL. The 2013 draft looks real good as for as the defensive side of the ball. I think Peria Jerry either shows up or it’s bye bye, players like Adam Replogle who is actually a beast and a free agent may make this team.
I have a good feeling about our FALCONS this year, the schedule is the FALCONS stepping stone to the elite and they will achieve. TD, M. Smith and M. Nolan will put together a monster of a team with depth. The FALCONS are nobody’s joke anymore, the rest of the league will be taking notice.

John Waynesworld

May 21st, 2013
9:54 am

Walt, I really like Replogle too. 38 bench reps is amazing, and Indiana gets exactly ZERO national publicity.

John Waynesworld

May 21st, 2013
10:24 am

Joe Tess

May 21st, 2013
10:25 am

I give a big F minis. 2 many busts that the AJc cliams R not busts.

Also prays 4 all the vicktems in Olkahoma

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

May 21st, 2013
10:26 am

Can’t really access TD’S draft picks in his tenure with the organization…rarely has any of his picks below the 3rd-4th rounds ever seen significant (substantial) playing time. Took TD 6 years to finally see, part of the process developing lower round draft picks, are allowing them to play. Mike Smith has failed miserably in managing, overseeing the development of our mid-to lower round draft choices. I regret having to bring Sidbury’s name into this convo, but I will. TD was asked last season why Sidbury was not part of the defensive end rotation, he replied “coaches decision”. I truly believe Sidbury was gonna be an intrique part of Nolans scheme this year, but Sidbury’s agent surprised the organization with wanting out of ATL.

Sidbury’s departure resulted in TD spending a 5th round pick on another defensive end in this years draft…also, IMO was a direct result of losing this years sixth round pick. Mike Smiths reluctance to play our lower round draft choices (Sidbury) caused the front office to scramble a bit in this years draft.

I don’t know why I have the feeling TD has taken an active role is seeing these guys get on the field, but it seems TD has pulled rank on Smith for the first time since this duo has been with the franchise.

With that said, I’ll give him an Incomplete, with Matt Ryan, Weatherspoon…and Julio Jones being the obvious successes of TD’s draft picks.

ps. Brent Grimes being the only significant player developed in TD’s tenure. IMO.

Old Timer

May 21st, 2013
10:32 am

Where are all those people who blasted TD for going with Matt Ryan instead of the defensive guy—what was his name? Anyway, he proved so mediocre that nobody even remembers his name any more. That pick, and the ballsy trade up for Julio, solidified TD’s standing.

Unca' Bob

May 21st, 2013
10:32 am

Ken Strickland

May 21st, 2013
10:34 am

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1645166-atlanta-falcons-what-to-watch-for-at-otas

CAGERS-Here’s an interesting read for you, so enjoy. Wow, SARAH B just popped into my mind as I was typing this. I keep thinking of someone that I never met in person, only in spirit.

Paddy O

May 21st, 2013
10:43 am

I think I’d rank 2010 above 2012. We got some very good players out of 2010. D3- the AJC is posting this as a regular story on their website – if they are going to utilize this blog like that, I think they owe you some compensation.

Paddy O

May 21st, 2013
10:46 am

When you combine our drafts with our tactical resignings of left over players from the old regime and FA signings plus trades – Mike Turner was key for us and Tony G is the best TE in NFL history. Dunta was serviceable; and I really thought the Ray Edwards signing a good deal at the time. Now, we’ve gotten Steven Jackson and Osi Umenyori. You can see a smart GM working.

Hamad Meander

May 21st, 2013
10:49 am

D3 – you’ve done a fine job of ranking the drafts, so I’ll not re-rank them for my own pleasure. I would say that the Falcons have done a decent job of building a roster full of solid players. The main problem I have with Dimitroff and his drafting M.O. is that it never seems we get the most value out of each draft. This past one was a good example – it always seemed with EVERY pick that there was the obvious need/value pick on the board and we went elsewhere. I’m ok with the 2013 draft, but would have been ecstatic had we gone Warford in the 2nd and J.Williams in the 4th. The value would have been leap-years higher and we would have gotten more potential starters.

Paddy O

May 21st, 2013
10:50 am

Consider – we’ve got 2 top 5 bonafide guys All Pro/ Pro bowl players on a team that since 2008 has not had a losing season. That is remarkable. You can nit pick, but the TD/ HC MS/ MR2 regime is a winning combination.

Paddy O

May 21st, 2013
10:51 am

Of course, Matt Ryan is the key. If he bombs like ryan leaf – we may not have won a single season.

Paddy O

May 21st, 2013
10:52 am

Ironic that Ryan and JJ are not considered developed in the TD era.

PoolerSpirit

May 21st, 2013
11:09 am

Old Timer… the pick we all wanted was Glenn Dorsey, DT from LSU… That’s the classic “Why I Always Trust TD In The NFL Draft” pick…

JJ

May 21st, 2013
11:10 am

Paddy O, Agree about the ajc but at the VERY least, put D3 name on it!!!

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jdiggitty

May 21st, 2013
11:40 am

Even though many of his draft picks have underperformed, I’ll give TD a solid A in his overall draft process based on the impressive win/loss record the team has since he’s been here. Matt Ryan alone is enough to make him a ‘B’ overall, and throw in JJ, Baker, Spoon, DeCoud, Curtis Lofton, basically Asante Samuel was a 7th round pick, Vance Walker, and a few other solid players, and I think it bumps him to an A. I am excited to see what Peter Konz and Lamar Holmes can do this year, along with Trufant, Alford and Goodman. Maponga is likely to be a big contributor in 2014 and beyond on the right side as a speed rusher.

If I wasn’t in a giving mood I would rate him a ‘B’ based on the many busts we’ve seen, and then qualify that by saying I think he does an outstanding job in free agency, aside from the Ray Edwards debacle. However you slice it, and whatever individual components of his job performance you want to evaluate, it all has to come back to playing in the NFCCG in 2012 as opposed to 4-12 in 2007 before he got here, and that deserves an A.

Matty Bicep

May 21st, 2013
11:54 am

“Ironic that Ryan and JJ are not considered developed in the TD era.”

My point exactly…But really, the top 20% don’t need much development, the bottom 20 are not going to develop. It is the 60% in the middle that make or break a team….The 3-6 round picks, although it might take a few years, you have to be patient.

Bill

May 21st, 2013
12:02 pm

Not so sure about Matt Ryan still. Yes he has great regular seasons. However, you get to the playoffs and he doesn’t show up (Giants game) or makes turnovers that make no sense with the interception versus Seattle and fumble that hits him chest high (49ers) and the pass to end the game vs. 49ers. Just still have concerns and wonder if he isn’t second coming of Tony Romo.

jdiggitty

May 21st, 2013
12:08 pm

Where are all those people who blasted TD for going with Matt Ryan instead of the defensive guy—what was his name? Anyway, he proved so mediocre that nobody even remembers his name any more.

Old Timer,

Are you talking about Glenn Dorsey Jr.?

The Real Falcon

May 21st, 2013
12:09 pm

What a softball op. How do you blame the coach for bad picks made by the GM?
TD has a history of picking players and projecting what they will do. Maybe he should draft based upon productivity and not potential in a new system.
TD has used high picks (1-4) that should be used on certain productive players, not projects.
Projects are for late round picks. (5-7).

jdiggitty

May 21st, 2013
12:09 pm

JB,

We’re building younger, bigger and faster and better. I’m going with an “A”. I’ll save the plus until they bring home the Lombardi…..three times.

My thoughts exactly!

cajdawg

May 21st, 2013
12:19 pm

Couple of general comments:

1) Except for Jerry, TD’s 1st and 2nd round picks have been pretty good- several quality starters and a couple of All Pros. I’d give TD an A- for the 1st and 2nd rounds.

2)Later round picks- poor results. Expect for Rodgers, nothing of significance. I’d give TD a c- for 3rd round and later.

3)I think TD tries to be too esotaric and cute with middle to late round picks. Often the best pick is the obvious pick. Too many finese and soft players, particularly with front seven on defense. If we draft another 290 pound DT I’m going to throw a brick through the TV.

JB Falcon

May 21st, 2013
12:37 pm

At the upcoming OTA’s, “the players are not allowed to wear full pads and no live contact is permitted. That means you won’t see blocking, tackling, pass-rush drills or even one-on-one drills between receivers and defensive backs.”
They will, however, be allowed to bring a deck of cards.

D3

May 21st, 2013
12:39 pm

Great Tuesday Cage! — Glad ya’ll are enjoying the topic. Thought it might be fun to do before we leave the draft entirely.

Joe Tess — I have no idea what language that is, but I certainly don’t speak it.

Bill — Guess we’re back to blaming Ryan for all the postseason failures, despite him throwing for almost 800 yards and 6 TDs vs. two of the best defenses in the NFL. No mention of a defense that gave up 17 point lead at home. No mention of Roddy slipping down on the route. No mention of HD slipping on a wide open TD run that would’ve sent us to the Super Bowl. No mention of the defense literally not stopping the tight ends in either game. Ryan has his faults, but you’re Romo comparison is a little bit much.

Real Falcon — Ahhh man, we’ve missed your rosy, sunny, and hopeful positivity in here!

Matty Bicep

May 21st, 2013
12:39 pm

Bill, your not going to be welcome around here saying stuff like that…..Although you are somewhat correct, I cannot discount how well Ryan played in bringing them back against Seattle, or how he looked in the 49ers game with the exception of some poorly timed mistakes…..maybe with a little better running game, we don’t have to ride his arm so much, that is not a good SB winning formula.

Joseph

May 21st, 2013
12:50 pm

With the hiring of a real group of managers and coaches by Arthur our expectations have really jumped.
I was at a game in 1966 as a 12 year old and have sworn off the Falcons more times that I want to remember. Except for a number of good players drafted that you can count on your fingers, until recently there was no consistency at all, there was just a hope of not embarrassing ourselves. It was not so long ago that the main concern was ” will we have a winning season.” Now its ” will we get to the super bowl.” I like this much better. I think Dimitroff and Smith are doing a fantastic job. Heres to you Arthur. Wish Ted was more like you.

Old Dawg

May 21st, 2013
12:58 pm

I’ve been a football fan since before the days of the dinosaurs, and one thing I know: drafts are just like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Even some of the best college players never pan out, with quarterback the most challenging to predict.

Another thing I know: the Falcons uniforms stink. To high heaven. Even the fashion challenged Terry Bradshaw says they’re butt ugly, which is being nice.

If the city, state and Mr. Blank Check are dumping all this money into an unneeded new football stadium, the least they can do is get a uniform that looks like something other than a drunked-up candy striper after an all-nighter in the parking lot of a Waffle House (no disrespect against drunked-up candy stripers and Waffle Houses).

In honor of Tommy Nobis, Claude Humphrey and many other great Falcons through the years, and future greats, get it done!

Flo - Ri - Duh

May 21st, 2013
1:03 pm

Sidbury was very inconsistent….. no one to blame but himself is my 2 cents worth.

Peria Jerry, like Sam Baker, had a history of injuries in college and dropped in the draft for that reason. Falcons gambled on Baker and Jerry – so far they are 50%.

Trufant in round #1 is deemed a sure thing but Alford in round #2 is considered a reach that may have been there in the 3rd but the Falcons had no 3rd pick in this draft. Also, Alford has health issues and will be 25 by the time his 1st season in the NFL begins. He’s a kick returner this coming season and a “potential” starter down the road.

Maponga is another gamble on a talented player with injury concerns – not to mention he was a college junior who left early and is a project.

Goodman is the key to this being just a good draft or a great draft for the Falcons – will he start this season?

No doubt that Ryan was their best over all pick when most were clamoring for the oft injured Dorsey (DT) from LSU. I give the Falcons credit for that.

Congrats to Jimbo73 ……. for being #1 & to Screen Pass for being #2.

D3 – once again you receive 5 STARS for excellence in writing.

Joe Tess

May 21st, 2013
1:03 pm

D3 just how dum R U? I give the Flacons an F minis 4 all the fist round busts.

Any why no 1 esle pray 4 the tronado vicktems?

Hamad Meander

May 21st, 2013
1:16 pm

cajdawg – on your #3 – you are certainly correct. What’s wrong with the obvious pick? Sometimes I think TD overthinks himself or wants to make a pick that everyone thinks “Wow, he must have really done his homework on him”. I think that’s why we get so many small school (Montana) players. It would be too easy to pick players from the SEC, ACC, PAC 10, and BIG 10 only and everyone would think that he is playing it safe. I like safe.

JB Falcon

May 21st, 2013
1:43 pm

Maybe this is off subject but I was wondering about the new PSL everyone is talking about with the new stadium. I knew nothing about them until I happened on this link;

http://www.fieldofschemes.com/news/archives/2012/01/4782_49ers_hefty_psl.html