Rolando McClain (He made some dumb decisions)
What do all of those players have in common?
They were drafted in the first round between 2008 and 2011, and they haven't done diddly hoo-hah with their teams to earn their first round status.
This is, of course, not an exhaustive list. I could comb every pick and determine whether or not they've lived up to their billing, but that would take too long.
Next list of players:
Jerome Felton, Matthew Slater, Carl Nicks (Dan Carpenter, Clifton Smith)
Johnny Knox, Thomas Morstead (Arian Foster)
Kam Chancellor, Antonio Brown, Marc Mariani (Victor Cruz)
NONE. ZERO. ZILCH
Blair Walsh (HE DOESN'T COUNT)
What do all of these players have in common?
They did diddly hoo-hah for their teams.
All of these players were drafted in the 5th round or later (undrafted in parenthesis) and made the Pro Bowl. The Pro Bowl, much as you might not like it, is a measure for at least some form of decency.
Except I have no idea how Clifton Smith and Marc Mariani can be considered Pro Bowlers when they were just return specialists. Matthew Slater? Does he even play for the Pats anymore? (Turns out he does and he's a special team specialist. Good for him)
So really, in the 5th or later, you don't get many studs. So we can wipe out most of our hope surrounding Dimitroff finding one, not that he isn't a good GM, but you really don't find super studs in the 5th round or later.
Our good Falcoholic friend The DW is reviewing the drafts on a year-by-year basis, with much more depth than I will provide in this post. However, I will review the Falcons first round picks in the Dimitroff era very quickly.
Matt Ryan, Sam Baker, Peria Jerry, Sean Weatherspoon, Julio Jones.
I don't think we've found any Aaron Maybins in the group. So many people are quick to label Jerry a "bust", but I feel like calling him a bust isn't fair to him. A bust is a failure, and while Jerry may not be producing at the level we expected, is that his fault? He destroyed his knee and - let's face it folks - not everyone Adrian Petersons their way to victory.
A bust, in my mind, is someone who isn't injured, but just flat out fails to perform because of their own inadequacies. We have no idea (and we'll never know) what the long term effects of that injury are.
People complain that it hurts them that Clay Matthews was drafted just after Jerry. Why?
Some people even criticize Dimitroff for not taking the "safer" pick in Matthews.
Well, I got news for ya.
ARIAN FOSTER went undrafted that year, which means every GM in the NFL is/was a failure about nine times over before somebody figured out he was worth a look.
You want to be sad about something Dimitroff related? Be sad he passed over that guy like 10 times.
In any case, Dimitroff has hit on every other first round pick he has made, including Sam Baker, but not the least of which was Quintorris Lopez Jones, who is a superstar in the making. (Anyone still not liking that trade, by the way? Because if you don't, I will personally throw a paper airplane at your house)
One of the boldest trades of the past decade has paid unbelievable dividends for the team. Yes, we could've invested those picks into other things, but the offense is so good with him, it makes up for any defensive deficiencies.
Let's not forget, in the midst of Dave's ire, Dimitroff only drafted the best QB to be drafted since Aaron Rodgers.
I mean, that's gotta mean something, right?
Okay, let's go over Dimitroff's other picks, in brief form, in terms of hit and misses for their value.
Harry Douglas, Curtis Lofton, Kroy Biermann
Garrett Reynolds, William Moore, Vance Walker, Chris Owens, to a lesser extent
Corey Peters, D. Franks
Quizz, Akeem Dent, Matt Bosher (Bosher was the ultimate "screw you" to the fans, and he's been great)
Too early to tell for the 2012 class
Dominique Davis appears to be a hit though. He was undrafted. Consider also that the team held onto Weems and Grimes, both of whom were undrafted.
As you can see, just without pulling up all their rounds and pick numbers and what have you, there is a nice balance of choices. Some are earlier (Lofton, Moore), and others are later (Quizz, Vance).
The draft, as I've said many a time, is truly a crapshoot. One cannot predict injuries, or herp-derpery, or whatever happens to these kids.
Now, let's examine his free agency moves.
Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez, Dunta Robinson, Roddy White, Ray Edwards, Steven Jackson, Osi...uhh....Osi.
Michael Turner was a great signing. Talk about a crutch for your young QB, Turner was all that and more. Love what he did for us.
The Gonzalez trade has paid dividends.
Dunta Robinson, if I recall right, was the highest rated corner by some places that signed with a different team. We needed a CB, we got one. So he wasn't perfect. Which one is? He filled a need as best he could. Why complain? I reference the SVP (who is quickly becoming one of my favorite radio personalities) quote from the beginning.
He kept Roddy happy, even though Roddy did hold out for a little while.
Now Ray Edwards was a mistake, but given what I've seen about Dimitroff, it was a calculated decision. Once they had had enough with Edwards, they cut him. Good for them. I could comb through many teams' acquisitions and find some fails (Lee Evans anyone?). It happens.
Given that Dimitroff has snagged guys like Turner, Gonzalez, SJax, and Osi, I won't complain.
But why complain? The man has played an enormous part in making this franchise not just good, but really good.
Are his drafts perfect? No, but whose draft is? We should be thankful we have a competent GM who knows what he's doing.
You've got teams like the Browns and the Jets and Cardinals who are drafting players like Mark Sanchez to lead them and leaving studs like Larry Fitzgerald high and dry, which is a shame.
After all, we could be like the Rams, whose only Pro Bowler since '06 left them.