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Schultz: After spending little, Falcons need to hit it big this draft

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https://theathletic.com/932964/2019/04/18/schultz-after-spending-little-falcons-need-to-hit-it-big-this-draft/

 

 

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Schultz: After spending little, Falcons need to hit it big this draft

 

It’s common every April for Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, his brain fried and eyes blurry from far too many hours of watching game tape, leading pre-draft meetings and sorting through “what-if” scenarios, to sneak away to Augusta and spend a day watching the Masters. But he couldn’t make it this year.

“We did a trip to far away places to scout both Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “Looking at big people.”

That’s probably for the best. Dimitroff missed one of the most memorable weekends in Masters history, but this is one draft he and head coach Dan Quinn need to nail. They need difference-makers, the level of players they weren’t able to pursue in free agency because of economics.

The Falcons are coming off a 7-9 season. Notwithstanding injuries last season, their lack of depth and an alarming void in leadership have been exposed the past two seasons since going to the Super Bowl. The front office was forced to patch several holes on the roster with low-budget signings in free agency because of salary cap constraints and the accompanying contract situations of Julio Jones (who is close to an extension) and Grady Jarrett (who was franchised).

 

What that means is Dimitroff and Quinn, the organization’s co-builders, need to get impact players in this draft. The significance of next season is best illustrated by what the Falcons did after the last one: They released or chose not to re-sign 16 players from the 2018 roster and blew out one-third of the coaching staff. That doesn’t take into account the number of players who may still get cut.

It’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which the Falcons fail to make the playoffs and owner Arthur Blank doesn’t make a change. Blank, speaking to The Athletic on a number of topics in late January, deflected when asked if the futures of Dimitroff and Quinn are connected: “That’s a whole year away. They’re two different people with two different roles. I understand the question, and I understand the answer you would like. But the answer I’m giving is the honest answer, which is that we have a year for things to play out.”

The Falcons still have enough talent to win the NFC South for the first time since 2016 or at least contend for a playoff berth. But they desperately need help in four areas: offensive line, defensive tackle, edge rusher and cornerback.

Dimitroff said there are “five or six” players the team is targeting with the 14th overall pick. He also told The Athletic, “There’s a good chance that three-quarters of the guys we’re looking at are gone in the top 12.”

That effectively means the Falcons may have to trade up to land one. The team has nine picks in the seven rounds, with multiple picks in the fourth and fifth rounds. It’s logical to assume the Falcons’ targets will come from a group that includes: defensive tackles Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and Ed Oliver (Houston), offensive linemen Cody Ford and Jawaan Taylor (Florida), edge rushers Josh Allen (Kentucky) and Montez Sweat (Mississippi State) and cornerback Greedy Williams (LSU). Quinnen Williams, Allen and Oliver all could go in the first five picks.

It likely would take at least a second-round pick for the Falcons to jump into the top 10, depending on how high they want to go.

“I would never concern myself with giving away a second pick if I felt like it was something exactly what we needed,” Dimitroff said. “If that guy was truly the guy we were focused on, and we needed to go to say, eighth, then we need to get comfortable with (a trade). I value picks a lot. But if it’s going to be a difference-maker for us and one that we think is vital for us to be successful. there’s no question that we’ll do something.”

Dimitroff reiterated the Falcons’ will stack their “needs” but will not take a significantly lesser player to fill a bigger need. He and his staff also have worked through several draft scenarios and believe at least one of their targeted players will be at No. 14, which is not to suggest they will sit back and wait.

“There’s probably four different positions we’re considering,” he said. “I just never want to be in a spot where I’m like, ‘Oh my God, these guys are all off the board.’ I’m never going to say that in front of anyone, but inside you’re like, ‘Holy ****.’ I won’t let that happen.’”

The Falcons’ objective is to get bigger. Most of the team’s offseason signings have been offensive linemen (four, plus blocking tight end Luke Stocker) and defensive linemen (three, including the return of Adrian Clayborn). But there have been no “wow” signings, given the required cap space.

That’s the difference between two major pro sports franchises in Atlanta: The Falcons couldn’t spend a lot because of the cap. The Braves choose not to spend a lot because they’re servicing constructions loans.

“I feel like we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish, at the numbers we wanted to accomplish in free agency,” Dimitroff said.

As for the team’s first pick, he said the Falcons need a “consistent, accountable, tough nose kind of player.” And, “He’ll need to be a tone-setter.”

Those aren’t easy to find.

 

 

 

Very good read.... Man the Athletic is a must have  for falcons into

 

and i agree... If and thats a big If..... With the position we are in and our cap space what it is for the foreseeable future..... If you can grab a difference maker... You do that ... Ive felt like these lowbudget depth moves has set us up for a possible move up.

With this draft having decent depth..... Again thats a big if.... If a impact guy is within reach.... You have to seriously look at that trade up

Drew4719, vel, vitaman and 8 others like this

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I am so disappointed in Vic Beasley's drop in production that I would offer him to move up to #3.  If the Jets are still using a 3-4 defensive scheme, they could get much more out of Vic than we have.

The Jets would get a much-needed pass rusher and still have a first rounder to fill any other need.  

We would move up for "the guy" and shed ourselves of a player that simply does not look like he fits in our scheme.  

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3 minutes ago, etherdome said:

I am so disappointed in Vic Beasley's drop in production that I would offer him to move up to #3.  If the Jets are still using a 3-4 defensive scheme, they could get much more out of Vic than we have.

The Jets would get a much-needed pass rusher and still have a first rounder to fill any other need.  

We would move up for "the guy" and shed ourselves of a player that simply does not look like he fits in our scheme.  

I doubt you'd find anyone unwilling to do this hypothetically, but its a pipedream.

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Dimitroff said there are “five or six” players the team is targeting with the 14th overall pick. He also told The Athletic, “There’s a good chance that three-quarters of the guys we’re looking at are gone in the top 12.”

 

34 minutes ago, atljbo said:

“I just never want to be in a spot where I’m like, ‘Oh my God, these guys are all off the board.’ I’m never going to say that in front of anyone, but inside you’re like, ‘Holy ****.’ I won’t let that happen.’”

This should tell us all we need to know. 

vel, PokerSteve, Ergo Proxy and 8 others like this

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23 minutes ago, etherdome said:

I am so disappointed in Vic Beasley's drop in production that I would offer him to move up to #3.  If the Jets are still using a 3-4 defensive scheme, they could get much more out of Vic than we have.

The Jets would get a much-needed pass rusher and still have a first rounder to fill any other need.  

We would move up for "the guy" and shed ourselves of a player that simply does not look like he fits in our scheme.  

I don't know why the Jets would want to pick up Vic's salary and lose the #3 pick to get an impact player.

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Q Williams, J Taylor, C Ford, C Wilkins, C Lindstrom, B Murphy, D Lawrence all fit that “consistent, accountable, tough nose kind of player.” description...not all at 14, but they are all tone setters.

 

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1 hour ago, atljbo said:

Dimitroff reiterated the Falcons’ will stack their “needs” but will not take a significantly lesser player to fill a bigger need.

This is the most important part. They won't be reaching. They want overall talent added to the roster. That's how you stay good. 

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34 minutes ago, vel said:

This is the most important part. They won't be reaching. They want overall talent added to the roster. That's how you stay good. 

Exactly!

Not necessarily taking a “significantly lesser” player just because it’s a need.

Therein lies the rub. We don’t get to define that.

Means we could trade up if we get what we want or stay and get a similar player that isn’t necessarily significantly lesser...depends on their definition and criteria.

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Dimitroff said there are “five or six” players the team is targeting with the 14th overall pick. He also told The Athletic, “There’s a good chance that three-quarters of the guys we’re looking at are gone in the top 12.”

“There’s probably four different positions we’re considering,” he said.

I would venture to say the four positions are: DE, DT, OT, & CB.

 

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Sounds like we're trading up, but if the top three or four defensive line players are gone in the first half-dozen picks, would TD still trade up to #8 for an OT? If we can't get one of the top defensive line players, I'm not sure I want to give up picks for an OT at #8. I'd probably go CB before OT if I were still going to pull the trigger and go up to #8. Sombrailo has not been ruled out as the starter, though he has little to no cred in TATF.

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@PokerSteve The thing is you don’t need to trade up for a CB. We probably targeting DL as reported or even trade down scenarios if it’s a reach at 14; CB in round 1 becomes possible then.

I think OL has us either taking one of the best remaining if we can’t trade down. In that scenario, we get a CB by round 3 and go for DL in 2nd?

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1 hour ago, vel said:

This is the most important part. They won't be reaching. They want overall talent added to the roster. That's how you stay good. 

If all the DLine prospects are gone, should mean there's a QB or two still up for grabs. Washington at 15 could certainly take a QB, might get another trying to jump Washington to overpay for 14.

Seems to me that you either trade up to get one of the top prospects OR you try get more picks in the 2nd-3rd rounds where the real value lies.

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2 hours ago, jfalconsp said:

 

This should tell us all we need to know. 

Thomas has finally let us peak under the curtain.  He needs to spend the summer with bill haha.

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44 minutes ago, falconidae said:

If all the DLine prospects are gone, should mean there's a QB or two still up for grabs. Washington at 15 could certainly take a QB, might get another trying to jump Washington to overpay for 14.

Seems to me that you either trade up to get one of the top prospects OR you try get more picks in the 2nd-3rd rounds where the real value lies.

I'm all about us getting one of the 3-4 blue chip defensive line players if we can for a reasonable trade up, but I would love to have someone call us for a QB and allow us to trade down in the 1st and prosper. Most would say for a CB, but if this happened and we got extra picks (even just an extra 2nd), I wouldn't be mad at grabbing and stashing Simmons and moving on from there in the 2nd.

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Pretty interesting he uses 8th as a spot to move up too for his example. With the rumored negotiations with Detriot I wonder if that's the spot they're targeting for Oliver. 

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I think if he wanted to be in the top 10 we should have played for in..... instead of win now trade away our future now

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7 hours ago, rudy said:

I don't know why the Jets would want to pick up Vic's salary and lose the #3 pick to get an impact player.

If the Jets still run a 3-4, then Vic is the type of pass rusher that they need.  For a deal to get done, Vic would have to agree to an extension that would be more affordable for the Jets. 

So, the Jets would get the pass rusher they need, plus a first round pick.

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We didnt see Julio Jones pick coming. Dimitroff gambled big for a franchise changing player. So, my question to the smart folk on this thread is this:

Given the number of picks we have this year and the next 2 years to give and trade worthy players on our roster now, is there a scenario where he goes and gets Bosa? 

Serious answers please.

 

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8 minutes ago, ADAMSVILLE GYM said:

We didnt see Julio Jones pick coming. Dimitroff gambled big for a franchise changing player. So, my question to the smart folk on this thread is this:

Given the number of picks we have this year and the next 2 years to give and trade worthy players on our roster now, is there a scenario where he goes and gets Bosa? 

Serious answers please.

 

If Bosa fell to 5 or so sure. It would be a more palatable trade to go from 14 than the jump from 25 or so for Julio Jones.

lets just say off Bosa, Allen or a Williams are there at 5, which one could very well be, I hope TD kicks the tires on the cost at least. We have plenty of “okay” on the D, we need a baller!

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1 hour ago, ADAMSVILLE GYM said:

We didnt see Julio Jones pick coming. Dimitroff gambled big for a franchise changing player. So, my question to the smart folk on this thread is this:

Given the number of picks we have this year and the next 2 years to give and trade worthy players on our roster now, is there a scenario where he goes and gets Bosa? 

Serious answers please.

 

If Bosa fell to 4 MAYBE. It would cost First, second, and next years first. Gruden covets picks over players right now

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