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If Thomas Dimitroff Signs Richard Seymour, Then I Think He Deserves An "a-" Grade For The 2013 Offseason


g-dawg
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Initial Free Agency:

I really like what the Falcons have done so far in this offseason. I like the combination of bringing in some impact NFL unrestricted free agents (Osi/SJAX) while letting some others go (Abe/Turner).

Clearly Steven Jackson is an upgrade over Michael Turner. Three years ago, you could have made the argument that Michael Turner was the better player but not anymore. Turner did not have the work ethic and discipline of Steven Jackson so - as his body got older - he deteriorated quickly. Jackson in 2013 is not the same player he was a few years ago - but he is still in impeccable shape and - finally playing for a winner - he will likely produce at a decent level for two more years. I expect about 250 carries, 1,100yds rushing and 10 rushing TDs. I further expect about 40receptions for 320yds and 3 receiving TDs in 2013. Those numbers will likely drop in 2014 but I expect a stellar year for SJAX in 2013 - his adrenaline, excitement and leadership on this team will revitalize some of the vets and be a great role model for the younger players.

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I believe Osi Umenyiora will fill in adequately for John Abraham. I look for about 9 sacks from Osi but more consistent play than we got from Abraham. Osi is not strong against the run and can get washed out so - in some ways he has the same strength/weaknesses of Abe. While the Falcons will miss Abe, I think this was a good move to let him go as he is due for a dropoff - obviously the game tape did not show consistent effort or some team would have signed Abe by now as I believe Abe would take a 1 year, $3.5 million deal if a team offered - and it looks like no one has.

Obviously most of us were elated that Dunta Robinson was cut - even his fans on this messageboard could not justify his pay for production. I have never been a fan and still find it hard to believe we ever gave him the big contract in the first place. D-Rob is a guy that is a hitter but not really great in coverage and not a great tackler either as he liked to play like he had no arms and use his head as a missle. Regardless of your opinion either way, he had to go and cutting D-Rob was one of the more underrated shrewd moves of Dimitroff.

Brent Grimes was a very good player for the Atlanta Falcons over the last 6 years. He was underpaid the first 5 years of his career as he took the long road to the NFL from NFL Europe. In 2012, he was overpaid as a franchised player and this was exacerbated with the Achilles injury in week#1 against Kansas City - while many were clamoring before the 2012 season for Dimitroff to sign Grimes to a long-term deal, I thought signing Grimes to the 1 year franchise tender was the right move given Grimes small stature, elite athleticism and advancing age (30). I believe the plan all along was to just keep Grimes for the 2012 season and let him walk thereafter - of course I cannot prove that to be the case and once the injury took place - it was obvious that Grimes would only be back at a "cut rate" and he simply was not coming back at anything less than what the market would bare. You cannot really blame Grimes for going for a max deal - even for a 1 year deal.....These NFL players have such short careers and Grimes will have made more in 2012($10.6mm-Falcons) and 2013($5.5mm-Dolphins) than his first 6 years in the NFL. I'm glad Brent Grimes was a falcon all those years but I'm also glad he is not a falcon now - perfect time for a divorce.

The Draft:

My initial thought was that the Falcons had to most likely go cornerback in the first round but I did not like the trade up. I thought JonathanBanks/Jamar Taylor were close enough to allow Falcons to "sit tight" and let the draft come to them. Having said that, I know probably 10% of what the Falcons scouts/GM know about these players and they thought there was enough separation between Desmond Trufant and the rest to warrant the move up and conceding the 3rd round pick. This move, I believe, was set up by having that extra 4th round pick(comp. pick for Curtis Lofton). Had Falcons not had that pick, I doubt they would have been so willing to cough up the 3rd rounder. If Trufant goes on to be a pro-bowl corner or even a 10 year starter, we won't regret the trade-up.

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I liked the 2nd round pick of Robert Alford as well. I had started a thread a few weeks prior to the draft entitled "Don't be surprised if the Falcons go Corner/Corner in first 2 rounds". While I did not outright predict this would happen, I did recognize the huge need for multiple corners given the loss of Grimes/D-Rob and an aging Asante Samuel. Sure, we have Robert McClain and he is promising but not considered a lockdown corner at this point. Falcons needed the two corners to solidify the position for 2013 and even moreso, for 2014 and beyond.

The 4th and 5th round picks all made perfect sense to me as Dimitroff targeted specific needs on the roster and these rooks all have a chance to be in rotation beginning this year with bigger roles in 2014 and beyond.

I see Malliciah Goodman as a very unique/ long defensive end who has no peer on the Falcons roster. He can hold the point of attack with his long arms, meathooks for hands and strength - he can play the run well on early downs and can kick inside for interior pass rush in passing situations - this guy can be a three down player. At worst, he is a rotational player for Falcons in 2013 and - at best - he could be impactful three down player - he just needs to rev up his motor to be more consistent and continue to develop.

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Levine Toilolo is a freakishly sized Tight End with better athleticism than advertised. He will never be a "stretch the field" guy running free down the seam but he will be a mismatch nightmare in the redzone and will be on the field in 2013 in two-tight packages. I do think Levine has the ability to take over as #1 TE in 2014 but its conceivable that he might always be a #2 guy - regardless, he will always have an active role in Falcons offense and was worth the pick. PFW's Nolan Nawrocki actually had Toilolo as the #4 TE in this draft and had him as a 3rd round type pick. I believe as a whole, the sports media was asleep on this guy and Dimitroff will be proven a shrewd jedi-master with this pick.

Stansly Maponga has the "upside" looks to his game that make this pick look like a good gamble. Once you get into the 5th round and beyond - NFL GM's are looking for players with skills and traits that are unrefined but could be developed with NFL coaching. Maponga is a pure pass-rusher who is strong and has a good first step - he is the kind of guy with a lot of upside and he obviously does not lack confidence - he predicted he would become the best defensive end in this draft - i like that kind of confidence.

The 7th rounders (Ishmael/Motta/Renfree) will likely never be starters but all could make the team and have their roles. I would guess that maybe only one of the safeties makes the 53 man roster with the other likely heading to the practice squad. Renfree feels like a steal to me who could develop to the point of a player we could trade in 3 years for a 4th-5th round draft pick.

Free Agency - To Do List:

The only area where Falcons did not seem to improve this offseason was the interior of the defensive line. As I have stated in another thread - "Richard Seymour to the Falcons" - mark it down", I believe the Falcons will address the defensive interior by adding Seymour to the mix. Given the cap space likely gained by Tyson Clabo deal coming off the books(June 1st) and the imminent re-signing of a new deal for Matt Ryan - there should be sufficient cap space to add Seymour with a 1-2 year deal. Seymour will instantly help against the run and creating a push in the pass rush from interior position.

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With all the new weapon for the brilliant defensive mind of Mike Nolan - he will have most of the weapons he needs to produce a more consistent defense against the run and the pass. Would it be nice to have one more ELITE defensive pass rusher? SURE it would. Would it be nice to have one more impactful linebacker? sure it would. However, when you think back to how many holes this team had going into the 2013 offseason and how many Thomas Dimitroff actually filled -and how tight Falcons were against the salary cap - i honestly don't see how we could have done much better.

Offseason Grade: "A-" Sir Thomas - good job!(B+ w/o Seymour)

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I think A- minus is on the high side. Not many gave TDs draft class, or any part of it, more than a "B" and all his signings are short term/older players.

Hard to award that high of a grade, when you could argue that as many as 10 of 32 teams had better off seasons and none of them merited a perfect A+

I don't really care what PETER SCHRAGER (FoxSports) or some of the other talking heads think......

Trufant/Alford were solid picks that almost no one questions. In the 4th round, Falcons finally drafted some athletes with "freakish" physical skills - this is something that has been lacking in Dimitroff's first 5 drafts - between Goodman's tremendous arm length and hands - and Toilolo's great height - i see two guys with high ceilings and guys that can outpeform their draft slots - in the past, Dimitroff has played it more safe in the middle rounds.......I'm a big fan of those picks.

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Most people say Abe was inconsistent because he only had three sacks in his last seven games. Osi only had two sacks in his last seven games.

of course you have nothing good to say about Dimitroff - you are clearly not a fan of his - very strange your perspective on Thomas Dimitroff as a "LIFELONG" Falcons fan.

You have been a fan since "1970" - so says your name - that is 38 years of no back-to-back winning seasons (42 total) where Falcons have been run by some of the worst GMs in the history of sport - now we have an NFL GM that is two time executive of the year (in 5 seasons) and you can never seem to find the ability to say something good about the man that has had 5 back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back winning seasons......

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

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I don't really care what PETER SCHRAGER (FoxSports) or some of the other talking heads think......

Trufant/Alford were solid picks that almost no one questions. In the 4th round, Falcons finally drafted some athletes with "freakish" physical skills - this is something that has been lacking in Dimitroff's first 5 drafts - between Goodman's tremendous arm length and hands - and Toilolo's great height - i see two guys with high ceilings and guys that can outpeform their draft slots - in the past, Dimitroff has played it more safe in the middle rounds.......I'm a big fan of those picks.

I agree. We used to take our "chances" on EARLY round picks... Jerry and Anderson!!??

I believe we went proven talent need early and athletic promise mid-to late. Here and now contributors in FAgency... Adding quality veteran leadership and talent on the Dline will complete the puzzle of at least competing for playoffs and beyond for this team

We have a tough schedule this year, and the NFC continues to get harder and harder to compete in. We have added by subtraction. I still believe we need Karlos Dansby to shore up what will be the biggest need going into training camp, assuming seymore is a lock.

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I don't really care what PETER SCHRAGER (FoxSports) or some of the other talking heads think......

Trufant/Alford were solid picks that almost no one questions. In the 4th round, Falcons finally drafted some athletes with "freakish" physical skills - this is something that has been lacking in Dimitroff's first 5 drafts - between Goodman's tremendous arm length and hands - and Toilolo's great height - i see two guys with high ceilings and guys that can outpeform their draft slots - in the past, Dimitroff has played it more safe in the middle rounds.......I'm a big fan of those picks.

I like the players chosen too and the higher risks, but part of the component to a highly graded draft is value. In trading up twice, Dimitroff surrendered value in the form of a 3rd, 6th and 7th pick. The need for those two trades was debatable, thus impacting a grade. A- is a high grade for picks you deem "solid"

Other teams who had good off seasons - Seattle, SF, KC, Minn, Jax, Philly, Cleve, STL, Den

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I agree. We used to take our "chances" on EARLY round picks... Jerry and Anderson!!??

I believe we went proven talent need early and athletic promise mid-to late. Here and now contributors in FAgency... Adding quality veteran leadership and talent on the Dline will complete the puzzle of at least competing for playoffs and beyond for this team

We have a tough schedule this year, and the NFC continues to get harder and harder to compete in. We have added by subtraction. I still believe we need Karlos Dansby to shore up what will be the biggest need going into training camp, assuming seymore is a lock.

nice post - agree w/ everything you said (of course Dansby has already signed w/ Arizona Cardinals).

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I like the players chosen too and the higher risks, but part of the component to a highly graded draft is value. In trading up twice, Dimitroff surrendered value in the form of a 3rd, 6th and 7th pick. The need for those two trades was debatable, thus impacting a grade. A- is a high grade for picks you deem "solid"

Other teams who had good off seasons - Seattle, SF, KC, Minn, Jax, Philly, Cleve, STL, Den

I understand what your position is with the trades - having said that - ultimately its about getting players that will have an impact - and players that are good schematic and locker-room fits.

also, your analysis above is just about the draft - mine was for the entire offseason including free agency - which brings the grade higher.

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I understand what your position is with the trades - having said that - ultimately its about getting players that will have an impact - and players that are good schematic and locker-room fits.

also, your analysis above is just about the draft - mine was for the entire offseason including free agency - which brings the grade higher.

No, I mentioned that all free agents were older/short term players. The Moore resigning was a good one, Baker meh, Reynolds?. You also have to factor in the loss of a guy like Vance Walker for cheap and losing your top pass rusher in Abe.

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Ooops... had forgotten that.

Still believe Dent/Nic is the weaklink... assuming we sign Seymore... What's your take on the LB corps situation?

I agree that Falcons are still weak in Linebacker corps. But if you asked me what position group would be the last I would address out of Corner/Defensive Line/Linebacker - the one I would have skipped would have been linebacker. Obviously it will be a need this year and beyond - but Falcons simply had too many needs to fill them all adequately. I also think that Bierrman could be a solution as a nickel backer because the defensive end depth is fairly deep at this point and Bierrman is well-suited in coverage as a coverage/blitz LB in a 3-4 look or a 3-3-5 look.

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of course you have nothing good to say about Dimitroff - you are clearly not a fan of his - very strange your perspective on Thomas Dimitroff as a "LIFELONG" Falcons fan.

You have been a fan since "1970" - so says your name - that is 38 years of no back-to-back winning seasons (42 total) where Falcons have been run by some of the worst GMs in the history of sport - now we have an NFL GM that is two time executive of the year (in 5 seasons) and you can never seem to find the ability to say something good about the man that has had 5 back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back winning seasons......

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

I like several off Dimi's moves. I hate twice as many as I like though.

Has nothing to do with my fandom, which is solid.

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I agree that Falcons are still weak in Linebacker corps. But if you asked me what position group would be the last I would address out of Corner/Defensive Line/Linebacker - the one I would have skipped would have been linebacker. Obviously it will be a need this year and beyond - but Falcons simply had too many needs to fill them all adequately. I also think that Bierrman could be a solution as a nickel backer because the defensive end depth is fairly deep at this point and Bierrman is well-suited in coverage as a coverage/blitz LB in a 3-4 look or a 3-3-5 look.

Do we keep four DT's if we sign Seymore? Seymore, Peters, TR and Jerry? Probably... with Sey and Peters as 4-3 DT; and TR-Jerry when we go to 3-4 sets... so that's Babs, Osi, Matthews, Goodwin and Maponga on the DE; Biermann, Massaquoi, Dent, Nic, Spoon (Motta?)at LB... and a pretty killer secondary of Tru, AS22, McClain, Alford, WillyMo, DeCoud and... no safety depth!??? (assuming Ishmael and Schillinger are not quality NFL safety depth yet)

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Most people say Abe was inconsistent because he only had three sacks in his last seven games. Osi only had two sacks in his last seven games.

Im not in this Abe or Osi fight but you do have to account the number of snaps both played

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To G-Dawg ...Back to your subject.... Its some things i probably would have did differently but i will say this.. I think TD did some damage with the offseason he had... Im not going off big names because you will be disappointed..

Thats why i agree with Pete Prisco when he says everyone is praising some ppl off season because they signed big names... With our team ive went back and look at the players .. Not names we added... I said it and ill say it again.. I would be shocked if Osi doesnt have a 12 plus sack season with the snaps he will have.. The guy is still a very good pass rusher.. Steven Jackson still runs hard and he starts off with more burst then Turner which should help our O-Line... Watching the games again i saw some wholes Turner would have had if he had better get off burst .

With Seymour (if added) .. He is stout in the middle and he could give us some push up the middle in a rotation.. Could give us 3-6 sacks (depending on playing time) and some vet leadership with multiple SB experience.

The one part of the game i think most is over looking is the 3rd part that won the ravens the SB.... The return game.. Jacoby Jones big returns was the xfactor in the SB.... We drafted a 4.3 40 guy with great return skills.... The return game can win and lose you games... Matt Ryan has had the worst field position of any QB in the playoffs since he has been in the league.

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If you are evaluating by pressures, don't you also have to account for their respective supporting casts, or lack thereof?

True but if you watch Osi game.. His pass rushing skill set is not relying on others... He beats tackles... Watch our game vs the Giants this year .. See what other DE gets close to Ryan like Osi was... Quizz saved us atleast a sack or 2 with his help out pass blocking (against Osi)

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At the end of the day, comparing the Falcons against the other 31 teams is the wrong way to compare off-seasons in terms of who gets an A, who gets a B,etc...

For the Falcons, this is a team that contrary to what you may read on the board, did not have a heck of alot wrong with it. Could the defense be better? Sure, but for the most part I've believed the outcry at how weak they are has been overblown. They were the #5 scoring defense in NFL in 2012. They are not the second coming of the 85 Bears, but they are also not the second coming of the 212 Saints either.

By in large, the Falcons addressed what they needed to this off-season.

1) They revamped their running game with a better, more complete talent.

2) They replaced an aging pass rusher whose impact I think has been padded these last two season by great performances against very poor QB's, with one who was 3-4 years younger with a championship pedigree.

3) Got younger in the secondary with more explosive and cover specific talent.

All the while while reducing the hit to their salary cap. If they sign Seymour, I think that would be a welcome addition. Not game changing, but certainly schrewd. If they don't - as Norman Dale once said 'my teams on the court'. Feel pretty good about it.

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True but if you watch Osi game.. His pass rushing skill set is not relying on others... He beats tackles... Watch our game vs the Giants this year .. See what other DE gets close to Ryan like Osi was... Quizz saved us atleast a sack or 2 with his help out pass blocking (against Osi)

He beats Tackles cause he's got burst and is singled up with them. Here he might get more attention.

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