FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has now made a trade in all seven of his drafts with the team.
On Saturday, he sent the team’s sixth (182 overall) and one of their three seventh-round picks (220) to the Minnesota Vikings for a fifth-round pick. The pick was used to select Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill, who received the news before heading out to his graduation ceremony.
The Falcons went into the draft ready to make deals.
They were unsuccessful in switching a blockbuster deal to land South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who went No. 1 overall to the Houston Texans.
They also tried to trade for a late first-round pick, but their intended targets went too high.
They had an eye on Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, but realized early that too many teams wanted him, and it would cost too much to move up high enough. He was selected by Pittsburgh with the 15th pick.
The Falcons’ attention then shifted to Auburn defensive end Dee Ford, who didn’t slip into their range. Ford was selected by Kansas City with the 23rd pick.
“We worked hard at it, and you have to have a dance partner,” Dimitroff said. “In the end, we didn’t (trade) at the spots that we were interested in.”
Smith said, “Thomas was working very hard. And as he said, it takes two to dance, and I felt like junior/senior prom, waiting on somebody (to dance with). We weren’t getting the three-letter answer, we were getting the two-letter answer.”
Here’s a look at Dimitroff’s trading record:
- 2014: The Falcons traded their sixth-round pick (182 overall) and one of their three seventh-round picks (220) for the Vikings’ fifth-round pick (168). They selected Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill with the pick.
- 2013: The Falcons traded up from 30 to 22 in the first-round to land cornerback Desmond Trufant. The Falcons traded with the St. Louis Rams They gave up a third and a sixth round pick. In the fifth round, the Falcons traded up 10 picks to TCU defensive end Stansly Maponga. They sent a seventh-round pick (236) to the Chicago Bears.
- 2012: The Falcons made a trade with Baltimore to move down seven spots in the third round to take tackle Lamar Holmes. They picked up a fifth round pick and selected defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi with the 164th overall pick. The Ravens picked up running back Bernard Pierce with the 84th pick the Falcons sent them. The Falcons gave up a seventh rounder (229 overall) to the Eagles in the Asante Samuel trade. The Eagles used that pick to select running back Bryce Brown.
- 2011: There was the 5-for-1 mega-deal with Cleveland to move up 21 spots in order to land wide receiver Julio Jones. Later, in the fifth round after the spotlight was off the Falcons, he sent two picks to St. Louis in order to move up 10 spots to scoop up running back Jacquizz Rodgers.
- 2010: Oklahoma cornerback Dominique Franks, who left school a year early, was slipping in the draft. Dimitroff sent two picks to St. Louis to move up 14 spots to acquire Franks. He’s played some nickel back and was the punt returner for most of last season.
- 2009: Dimitroff felt he could get his guy by going back 13 spots in the fifth round. The Falcons made a deal to send their fifth-round pick to Dallas. They moved back 13 spots and picked up a seventh-round pick for their troubles. They drafted offensive lineman Garrett Reynolds in the fifth and Vance Walker in the seventh. Reynolds has opened the last two seasons as a starter at right guard. Walker was a contributor before signing with Oakland in free agency.
- 2008: There was a run on left tackles. With the Falcons needing protection for Matt Ryan, Dimitroff sent two second-round picks and a fourth-round pick to Washington in order to move back into the first round and pick Sam Baker with the 21st overall pick. They also received third- and fifth-round picks. The Falcons used those picks to select wide receiver Harry Douglas (84th overall) and defensive end Kroy Biermann (154th).
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