Thomas Dimitroff hopped on NFL Radio last night for a few brief minutes and covered at least a little bit of new, interesting ground.
I didn't get to hear the whole interview, but Alex Marvez aptly summed up the two biggest takeaways from the interview on Twitter.
Dimitroff expects rotation of players at LEO position on defense. However, @AtlantaFalcons could address that spot w/ No. 8 overall pick— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) March 25, 2015
Dimitroff said it was possible Sam Baker shifts to guard. No decisions made until Baker gets healthy. @SiriusXMNFL— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) March 25, 2015
Let's unpack the Baker bit first. Several Falcons writers, including Aaron Freeman at FalcFans and Scott Carasik at Bleacher Report, have brought up the possibility that Baker could move to guard. It makes sense given the team's hole at left guard and the fact that Baker no longer appears to have a starting job guaranteed at tackle, and for what it's worth, Vaughn McClure dropped this last night.
Following up on @alexmarvez tweet about Baker, source close to Baker told me he would be more than willing to move to guard.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 25, 2015
Moving Baker and starting him at left guard would be the best way to get real value out of his expensive contract, but the question is whether Baker could make the transition and be effective. I think it's worth a shot, but I do believe that there's a strong possibility James Stone or a drafted guard winds up taking the starting job because of fit. There's also the small fact that Baker is not currently completely healthy, which is going to put him a little behind the eight ball in terms of competition there. It is, however, a possibility that should not be dismissed, and it would be excellent indeed if Baker managed to seize—and excel at—that left guard job. Just don't count on it, either.
Then there's LEO. I have to believe the Falcons are going to draft someone with the #8 pick to be the eventual starter there, even if Prince Shembo and others are mixing in early in the season. If a rookie isn't immediately ready to play full-time snaps—and there's a decent chance that'll happen, even though you're talking about a top-flight rookie—then the Falcons can simply rotate and see who can bend the edge most effectively. Ideally, the spot won't be a makeshift one for very long, either due to Shembo's emergence or that effective rookie.
What are your thoughts on Dimitroff's comments?