The combine kicks off tomorrow and the Atlanta Falcons have got to be excited about the road ahead. Because they sucked at football in 2014, the Falcons will pick 8th in the upcoming draft. It's an interesting position to be in, with several possible approaches.
General Manager Thomas Dimitroff was on the Rich Eisen Show today, talking about pre-draft scouting and how the team formulates it's board. Give it a listen, if you have a moment. But here's an interesting tidbit about their board formulation.
"Draft board really starts around now for next year, basically 14 months out, where we start structuring our board and breaking it down and really stacking our board as it pertains to our talent now and making sure that we're getting a proper 2015 stack. It really starts going on in December, we have position meetings then, and then we have position cross check meetings in the beginning of February. So we have really started to refine our board."
Don't misunderstand Dimitroff, the process is still ongoing. They don't know who they're going to draft yet, and that's fine. But it's a process that began about a year ago, before Jake Matthews ever became a Falcon. I'm a procrastinator at heart, hence why this blows my mind a little bit. It's like they're starting to study for a test over a year in advance.
It just goes to show how intricate the approach is in the NFL; they aren't shooting from the hip. Sometimes they get it right, and sometimes they miss completely. Hate Dimitroff or love him, his results - or lack thereof - aren't a product of laziness. Then again, it's what he gets paid to do, so the approach had better be solid.