Posted: 10:00 am Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

8 questions for Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

The long and winding pre-draft process is coming to a close for Falcons officials. (Photos by D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

The long and winding pre-draft process is coming to a close for Falcons officials. (Photos by D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff will hold his pre-draft press conference at 2 p.m. today at the team facility.

We have some questions for the general manager that I’ll send along with Michael Cunningham and the rest of Team AJC. (Someone has to pick up his freshman student from college today.)

Photos: Top NFL Draft prospects | Dimitroff’s draft deals

The staff members will have videos, blogs and photos posted shortly after the presser. Also, more in-depth stories will post to MyAJC.com later in the day. (Feel free to stop back by!)

After Dimitroff gives an opening statement on the uniques and the depth of this draft, here are the first eight questions:

  1. Have you made the call to Houston and how much will it cost to move up to the No. 1 position?
  2. What’s the team’s priority – offensive line or pass rush. (Depends, who’s left on the board, but still a good question).
  3. How are the Falcons rating the tackles: Matthews, Lewan and Robinson?
  4. Is Robinson worth trading up for?
  5. What round do you plan to draft a free safety?
  6. What round do you plan to draft a tight end? (Mention Arthur Lynch)
  7. Can you get value at running back throughout the draft? (mention — Isaiah Crowell)
  8. Any interest in trading back in the draft?

FALCONS’ DRAFT BOARD

–A look at Louisville LB Preston Brown

–A look at Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

–A look at Texas OLB/DE Jackson Jeffcoat

–A look at West Virginia RB Charles Sims

–A look at Auburn DE Dee Ford

–A look at Brigham Young OLB Kyle Van Noy

–A look at Arizona State OLB/DE Carl Bradford

--A look at Missouri DE Kony Ealy

–A look at Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro

–A look at Alabama S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix

–A look at Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman

–A look at Boston College QB Chase Rettig

–A look at Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas

–A look at Central Florida RB Storm Johnson

–A look at USC TE Xavier Grimble

–A look at Ohio State OT Jack Mewhort

–A look at Louisville S Calvin Prior

–A look at Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier

–BLOG: A list of the confirmed players at LOCALS DAY on Tuesday

–BLOG: FSU linebacker Telvin Smith visited the Falcons on Monday

–Falcons check out Towson State RB Terrance West, CB Jordan Love (UGA transfer)

–MyAJC ($): Eye-test vs. Tape-measure test: Falcons must trust their eyes during draft prep. 

FALCONS REWIND

–Blog: Falcons are not switching to a 3-4 defense front, they’ve been using it for past 2 seasons

–Blog: New jersey numbers picked; Devin Hester to wear No. 17

–Blog: Falcons awarded three compensatory picks

–Blog: Lamar Holmes was a performance-pay leader in 2014

–Blog: Umenyiora will return in 2014, no restructured deal

–Blog: Falcons release FB Bradie Ewing

–Blog: Falcons WR Roddy White owes Mercer fan some prime tickets

–Blog: Falcons owner Arthur Blank engaged to be married.  

–Blog: Former Falcons WR Kevin Cone to work out for Carolina

–Blog: Falcons re-sign defensive tackle Peria Jerry

–Blog: NFL to move forward on cleaning up ‘on-field’ language

MEET THE FREE AGENT SIGNEES

–MyAJC ($): Falcons spend $80 million in free agency to buy toughness

–Las Vegas doesn’t like Falcons’ free agency moves

–Falcons Free Agency Tracker — Falcons have committed $107.36 million to salaries 

–Q&A with PR/KR/WR Devin Hester

–Q&A with Falcons right guard Jon Asamoah

–Q&A with Falcons defensive end Tyson Jackson

–Q&A with Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai

2014 NFL DRAFT CENTRAL

–Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons trade out of sixth spot to land Pryor and Ebron

–12 teams who could draft UGA star Aaron Murray

–Louisville LB Preston Brown to work out for the Falcons

–Louisville DE Marcus Smith to work out for the Falcons

–MyAJC ($): OT Greg Robinson, DE Dee Ford shine at Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Tackle Greg Robinson on Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Running back Tra Mason on Auburn’s Pro Day

–Blog & VIDEO: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd has stellar Pro Day showing

–VIDEO: Clemson WR Sammy Watkins on his Pro Day

41 comments
gfw
gfw

My question for Dimitroff is:  Are you really committed to Baker at LT?  (How could the answer be "yes," you might ask.  Well, let's just hear his answer.)

BigHittas
BigHittas

as a  fan I don't think that trading up for Robinson would be a bad thing, esp. if you could use some of the comp picks for the trade.

BigHittas
BigHittas

I like what TD said about looking at 3-4 players that could both rush the passer and drop back in coverage.....which is something ATL has been lacking in.

Really?!
Really?!

DO NOT TRADE UP YOU MORON!!!!!  


If Mack, Matthews, Robinson or (God help us) even clowney is available at #6 then draft one of them.  If none are still there then any player on the Falcons draft board will more than likely still be available lower in the draft so MOVE DOWN!!!   Even an extra second round pick will mean a lot with all the holes Atlanta has to fill.


How stupid does TD have to be not to understand moving up is the exact reason there is no depth on either line now.  To be honest many of the starters on both lines are questionable thanks to moving up.



notPlanB
notPlanB

Many are thinking OT. If we were a team with few needs, I would say use #6 but we have many holes to fill. Looking at the NFL Value Chart, I see if we dropped back to pick #13 (don't have that team in front of me) we could draft Taylor Lewan OT and have the exact points needed to get that teams 2nd round pick. Robinson and Matthews may be gone at #6 anyway. With picks #13, #37 and #44 we could fill some holes with Pioli and Nolan making those choices.

Morde
Morde

dont grab clowney u spiked hair devil please dont, too many holes for 1 player to fill them, can clowney play: DE,FS,OLB,MLB,OT,TE AND RB?? we really need help can belive we have the same trouble since 08 pass rush!! it seems we still have lawyer milloy and keith brooking playing here, get a good OT protect matt ryan,and get some pass rusher in the 2rd and a saftey on 3rd round, stop playing texas hold em with our draft picks and going all in always!!, TD took perria jerry over clay matthews then spoon over demarius thomas, then he goes all in on julio jones, when demariuys was for free!!

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

Why trade up at all? The best tackle in this draft will be there at #6, Jake Matthews

keendaddy
keendaddy

#1. Since most of the Falcons fans are opposed to moving up for Clowney, are you willing to turn your back on them?

#2. If you give up Draft picks to take Clowney, and he's a bust, or gets hurt early, do you already have a go to excuse, for our next 4-12 season?

#3. If Clowney doesn't work out like you think, who will be your scapegoat, this year?

#4. Are you mad at Ryan and intentionally trying to get him killed?

#5. When Ryan goes down with a serious injury this year because of running for his life, can Clowney play any QB ?

#6. Quite a few Falcons fans think you're in over your head, because of your tendency to gamble future Draft picks, just to move up a few spots. Any chance you would be willing to move back a little, for additional picks, this year?

#7. We have so many needs this year, how do we fill all of the holes we have this year?

#8. If this year, we stink up the joint, like we did last year, will you finally take Responsibility for the Falcons collapse, seeing as you built this mess?

JLTee
JLTee

Honestly, I don't expect to get any meaningful answers after this presser. Our questions will receive their answers beginning May 8th. Until then, expect Thomas to give us spin.

Braveman
Braveman

Hi HonestInformed, What kind of character flaws does Clowney have? Speeding ticket? Being blocked the whole year by 2 to 3 lineman? He is a once in a decade player. Trading this years first and third and next years first and third would be well worth it. After coaching 18 years I found the best defense is to make a QB uncomfortable or put him on his butt.

KatieR620
KatieR620

Why did you choose not to shore up the offensive line after Cincinatti left and it was clearly a weak point prior to last season?

HopelessinAtlanta
HopelessinAtlanta

The answer to question 7 will be yes - the rest will be answered with wordy "no comments".


Once again some of the lamest questions by a reporter. C'mon surely you can do better. You know he's not going to actually tip his hand as to his draft strategy so why keep asking.

Somewhat Informed
Somewhat Informed

D Led -

You should ask TD if he's considered pursuing a trade for Chief's safety Eric Berry to fill our safety void. Possibly trading a third round pick in this year's draft, and a third round pick in next year's draft.

WildWillie32
WildWillie32

#1 Why didn't you instruct Coach Smith to lose those games vs the Bills and Redskins so that you wouldn't have to worry about trading up?? 2-14>>>>>>4-12...dummies

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

If Houston ask for to much then stay put and draft Khalil Mack or Anthony Barr.


GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Arthur Blanks tell TD to move up in the draft and get Clowney if only giving up this year #37 and next year first, trust me Arthur you will never regret this decision.


GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Arno_
Arno_

"Have you made the call to Houston and how much will it cost to move up to the No. 1 position?"


I can answer this one: It will cost us future competiveness as

crucial holes will remain in our roster till 2016.

RX
RX

1. Who are you drafting first?

2. Do you ever go fishing?

3. How about them dogs?

4. Who are you drafting second?

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Good luck getting those questions answered. If I were the reporter I'd want to ask questions that would be answered with more information than a euphemism or "no comment".

Flacons_go_2-14
Flacons_go_2-14

Ask him just how dum is he if he dont pix Johny Fottball with the fist pix. 

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

Horrible list of questions.........he will not and should not answer most of the questions prior to the draft and/or prior to a possible trade. {Also why ask about two players with questionable character (Clowney & Crowell??????}   Atlanta Falcons: Please do not draft either player.


Ask him why would the team even consider a trade UP when we are in the position to draft an OT at #6 which should solidify this critical position for 10+ seasons?


Then follow with: Does trading UP make any sense at all knowing we need starting caliber players at OT, S, LB, DE & TE for this season?

BeastOPS
BeastOPS

I don't really see TD giving straight answers to any of those questions.  He doesn't want to tip his hand a week away from the draft. 

ChuckClausen
ChuckClausen

When I was coaching (15 seasons in the NFL) we generally made our choice based upon the 3 or 4 highest rated players on the board at the time of our pick. Prior to the draft we spent a lot of time studying the players who predraft ratings suggested they would be available in the middle rounds. When you study the pro bowl rosters you'd be surprised how many players had been drafted in the middle rounds. Coached some great players who were drafted in the middle rounds. Coached a 4 rounder and 2 7th rounders who played in the pro bowl.

DoubleEE
DoubleEE

Also D-Led,

In rating the top three tackles,what criteria(s) are they looking for to distinguish/rate the three?

Factors such as athleticism,bloodlines,polish,nastiness,and upiside.

DoubleEE
DoubleEE

Question for Dimitroff: Does he think it is possible to move up,like to #3 or #4,and retain all of this year's draft picks? In other words,provide a pick or two in the future for compensation.

Given that there are four prospects (Clowney,Mack,Robinson,Wakins) who are considered "elite" and one prospect,Jake Matthews,who may be the "safest" and most pro-ready player in the draft.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

D. Led is drinking that Todd McShay juice again, let's hope the Falcons have made the call to Houston and have the check made out for Jadeveon Clowney.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Sine this draft is so deep do we see Roddy's replacement in the draft?

Jmonty
Jmonty

It was clear the the "O" line was beyond repair last year.  They need to focus on protecting thier 100 million dollar investment.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@gfw  Baker is quite solid when healthy. Had a good season in 2012. Allowed only 3 sacks the entire year and shut out Aldon Smith in the NFC title game. But that's just the problem, he rarely stays healthy for a full year

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@gfw Giving Sam Baker a high price long term salary extension in 2013 will go down as one of the worst decisions Dimitroff has made.


Baker seems like a good guy, but he is not worth the big $$$

TG88
TG88

@Really?! I agree! I usderstand there is alot of talent in this years draft so it would make sense to TRADE down... of course not to AIRHEAD TD...

JLTee
JLTee

But if  did have to ask a question, it would be why does mostly every other team in the NFL put a premium on pass rushers/sacks, except for the Falcons?

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@Braveman 1. Takes numerous plays off during games.


2. Does not practice hard.


3. Takes himself out of games during crunch time.


4. Plays selfish (for individual stats) rather than maintaining his personal responsibilities.


5. "Seems" like the guy who is bigger/stronger/faster and has never had to perfect technique, play with all-out effort and is little lazy because everything has always come easy for him (always having it easy leads to a general lack of character).


"Being blocked the whole year by 2 to 3 lineman"......this a bogus comment fueled by ESPN hype-men. Fans that actually watched the games know that he dominated OL players from crappy teams (thus the need for double team approach by the Kentucky & Vanderbilt level teams); however, he was handled by one OT when he played against NFL draft worthy players. {He only had 3 sacks in 2013!}. 


He is more like Aundray Bruce (another SEC bust just like Jamal Anderson & Peria Jerry) than Lawrence Taylor.


I hope the Falcons do NOT draft Clowney.

UGA76
UGA76

@Arno_ It will also cost Fantasy football Dimitroff and unfortunately Smith their jobs.  Without at least a new T and they really need 2 Ryan will go down early and we will be 3-13 or so next year.  That 1st round pick in 2015 will haunt us for as long as the Jamal Lewis debacle when we gave away a 1st to move up and take a TE.   

DawgWhisperer
DawgWhisperer

And who are you not drafting?

What are your hobbies?

Don't avoid the question... how 'bout them dawgs?

Define drafting.

zuzu331
zuzu331

@HonestInformed @Braveman   HonestInformed:This is without a doubt the most overhyped draft prospect Ive ever seen. After his highlight film shot on Michigan's 5'6 176 lb pound Vincent Smith in the 2013 Outback Bowl,the Hype Machine went into overdrive.All your points about him are spot on. Double and triple team blocking is nothing unusual in the NCAA and it does happen in the NFL.If this guy couldnt handle it at the College level (and he couldnt) how in Hell do people expect him to be able to handle it at the next level? Really kinda unbelievable how much attention this kid has gotten.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

@Camaro-Bob @AnsweredTHIS Please give it a rest. Matt Ryan is an awesome person and superb NFL QB. He is the long term answer in Atlanta. You have proven beyond any doubt to be a completely ignorant fool with the persistent dumb comments.


I suggest you become a fan of whatever unlucky team decides to draft "Johny Fottball" and drop any & all interest in the Atlanta Falcons.