Thomas Dimitroff spoke to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine today, continuing his habit of being either unusually candid or typically evasive, depending on your perspective.
Especially interesting were Dimitroff's comments on trading up in the draft, the addition of Billy Devaney and Russ Bollinger to the scouting staff and what the Falcons are looking for in prospects. I'll let you judge where the offseason is going by these comments, if such a thing is possible.
Here's a sampling of Dimitroff's comments, with my comments below. Hat tip to those reporters providing the comments and context.
Dimitroff at the podium. pic.twitter.com/6vy7FKtIcx— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) February 21, 2014
That hair, though.
Dimitroff: Russ Bollinger hired for his experience with the offensive line, both as a scout and a player.— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) February 21, 2014
Bollinger's going to dive right in as the Falcons attempt to add young talent to the offensive line. Don't know what round we're talking, but it's coming.
Dimitroff says the team will be picking at "six or earlier," says that's not foreshadowing.— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) February 21, 2014
Dimitroff reiterated being open to trading up— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) February 21, 2014
Dimitroff: We throw at some really interesting scenarios in our building. We'll continue to be creative.— Matthew Fairburn (@MatthewFairburn) February 21, 2014
Two possibilities: Dimitroff is running the mother of all smokescreens or the Falcons are already fairly certain they're trading up.— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) February 21, 2014
I've been warning you guys not to rule this out. This could be the mother of all smokescreens, but with the Falcons picking at #6 with obvious needs that aren't quarterback, it's possible he's already got the deal in place to go up and snatch Jadeveon Clowney if he's there. Lot of time between now and the trade, but again, keep an open mind to this possibility.
Interesting, to say the least. Only a couple of weeks away from free agency, so the Falcons may be letting guys test the market.
Dimitroff said Falcons have not extended any offers to their own free agents— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) February 21, 2014
Dimitroff said it's a fantastic top 10 draft— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) February 21, 2014
Then again, if they like multiple players in the Top Ten...
#Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said the team's focus right is on free agents before the look at restructuring any deals.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) February 21, 2014
In other words, don't expect any new deals for Roddy White, Julio Jones, and others until after the Falcons lock down their free agent needs. They have the cap space to do so without needing the restructured contracts.
Dimitroff: Speaks of smokescreens, says if you trust system and scouting staff, then you shouldn't be swayed by noise/projections.— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) February 21, 2014
The Falcons, like most front offices, don't really giving a flying bird of prey about anybody's mock drafts or character concerns for prospects unless they identify them. Makes sense.
TD: "I believe you can have a very good locker room and still win a lot of football games in this league." #RiseUp— Daniel Cox (@FalconsDCox) February 21, 2014
Dimitroff said they pay attention to social media of players. Can only assume that helps DAT and Louis Nix.— Matthew Fairburn (@MatthewFairburn) February 21, 2014
Dimitroff talked about "rugged" players, but not "thugs." The Falcons aren't going to suddenly open the floodgates to every dude who (allegedly) beat up an Ohio State fan, so you can't expect significantly relaxed character standards here.
Dimitroff just used myriad, intricate, and outlandish in the same string of thoughts. His word game is tight.— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) February 21, 2014
@TheFalcoholic Dimitroff word salad recipe: 30 adjectives 15 nouns 5 verbs Lite conjunction dressing Salt & pepper to taste— Rasputin Jim (@jimlohmar) February 21, 2014
Did you know that Thomas Dimitroff and I sound vaguely alike and are both fond of using big words for no reason? It's true, and probably also annoying.
Thomas Dimitroff's speech at the Combine: "We were bad last year and we're trying to be not bad anymore."— Alex Welch (@alexmwelch) February 21, 2014
This really was the thrust of what he was saying, in his typical roundabout way. The Falcons sound like they have a strong plan to get better, and whether that works or not, it's reassuring to see the confidence.
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