Since the Falcons' first pick in a few weeks comes in the second round, I thought it might be worth exploring what Thomas Dimitroff and the front office have done in the second round since arriving in 2008.
The first thing we have to note is an insanely small sample size. Dimitroff has only picked in the second round twice in his four years at the helm, and both picks have been successes. It would be beyond foolish to declare him a genius based on that, but we can say he has done quality work with those picks.
Take 2008. Though he left after four seasons with the team, Curtis Lofton was an eminently useful linebacker and team leader during his time in Atlanta. Chosen in the second round that year, Lofton was an immediate starter and a classic thumper at middle linebacker. He made a difference.
Or take 2009, when Dimitroff got William Moore. C4 has battled injuries in his career, but when he's been on the field he's shown flashes of elite ability and has consistently played very well. That's another multi-year starter, one that I hope the Falcons will lock up when he hits free agency next year.
The 2010 pick was swapped for Tony Gonzalez, which obviously worked out pretty well for the Falcons. The 2011 pick was wrapped up into the trade package for Julio Jones. We don't yet know how successful he'll be, but Jones has a ton of talent.
Again, while we can't draw any conclusions from so few picks, it's fair to say that the team's second round draft picks have turned into useful players the last four years, one way or another.
Let's hope the team makes it five.