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Grading Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: 2011 draft

Lets put another one in the books to answer our final question: is Thomas Dimitroff good at his job?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After endless debate, we just could not agree on Thomas Dimitroff. Is he great? Is he terrible? Or is he just in the middle, sort of like his hair? There have been a lot of bad picks, but no team is perfect. In fact, it seems like the good teams can only get good value about half of the time. And some years are just terrible years for talent.

For instance, 67% of the top 18 picks in 2010 went to the Pro Bowl, while under 28% from the previous year ever earned that recognition. How much can we even learn out of a bad year?

We stole from a commenter figured that we could compare the acquisitions of of multiple general managers across Dimitroff's career. Using the same five point system for every player drafted, four of our writers are looking to compare the offseasons for the Falcons, Seahawks, Browns, and Giants. We look at the round for each player, and determine if they meet expectations (3), if they completely exceed expectations (5), or if they are Sam Baker (1).

Atlanta Falcons

Falcons 2011 draft

The Falcons had probably one of their better drafts. They gave up the farm for Julio Jones, and he exceeded every expectation. He's an easy top grade. Jacquizz Rodgers was a very good third down back, and excelled in pass protection and at catching the ball. But without plenty of running room to get up to speed, he struggled to make plays like this in the run game. Very good addition for a 5th round pick. Bosher should be considered one of the best punters in the league, and I'm giving him a top grade so he doesn't tackle me. Even Cliff Matthews played a great deal of snaps for a 7th round pick.

The bad here is only Akeem Dent, who got easily outplayed by Paul Worrilow. Let that idea simmer. One of the worst linebackers in the league according to PFF outplayed Akeem Dent. He was so bad the Falcons traded Dent for T.J. Yates, who was reportedly already cut from the Houston Texans. Yeah, he got traded for someone that was already reportedly fired. Andrew Jackson (not the president) was never active and is out of the NFL. He was cut, brought back next year when his college coach was the new offensive line coach, and got cut again.

Dimitroff stays above the curve with a 3.33 average, and is within 1 point of the "21" average you hope to reach with a full slate of average picks.

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks 2011 draft

We will see this same thing in their 2012 draft: John Schneider either hits big or doesn't hit at all. Half of this draft is the oft-injured James Carpenter, the odd and short career of John Moffitt, the UGA wide receiver who wasn't A.J. Green, and some other players who never made an impact. The other half is full of Pro Bowl players, All Pros, and future Hall of Famers. K.J. Wright in the 4th, Richard Sherman in the 5th, Byron Maxwell in the 6th, and Malcolm Smith in the 7th. That is more defensive talent than four or five teams have at this very minute.

It feels weird to call a draft that included those defensive players as lacking, but it is tough to give a great grade when they burned picks on the first two days of the draft. I will say that Seattle is quick to move on with their mistakes. Outside of Carpenter, who I am sure they hoped would finally start healthy, the guys who didn't work out were cut or traded quickly.

If we are looking to hit or exceed 21 points, the Seahawks did significantly better than that. However, when factoring in the extra picks, Seattle comes in right on target.

Cleveland Browns

Browns 2011 draft

The Browns got a ton of picks in the Julio Jones trade. What'd they do with it? Well, not much. Philip Taylor showed promise in his rookie season, then struggled with injuries and effectiveness. The Browns cut him after four seasons, and he has yet to play another snap since partway through 2014. Jaball Sheard had a similar Browns career, registering fewer sacks every year until he left. But he was on average a good enough player to justify the selection. Greg Little put up some big numbers, but had some of the worst hands in the last decade. This was a pretty good haul for the Browns (considering it is the Browns), but still netted them only one consistent starter. Some of these players are actually pretty good, but guys like Sheard and Cameron only had one good season each.

Cleveland ends up with 22 points, and factoring in the extra pick, is a few points below target. This is a surprisingly decent draft thanks to nice value in late rounds. Surprisingly decent for the Browns.

New York Giants

Giants 2011 draft

The Giants drafts have been terrible, and this may be the very worst of them. Their crown jewels from the entire draft were getting decent value out of some late round selections and overdrafting Prince Amukamara. Seriously, they got five tackles out of their 2nd round pick. I'm starting to think that Jerry Reese could make Thomas Dimitroff look like a genius. How did these guys win so many Super Bowls?

19 points with 8 picks. How does Reese still have a job?


Thomas Dimitroff? Not doing bad at all here. The Seahawks are riding inconsistent drafts to greatness. They weren't able to add much talent early, but it is like they found every good player left after the first three rounds. The Browns held their own, and I'm regretting picking the Giants as our "average team" benchmark because it looks like they are actively trying to destroy their own franchise.

We aren't really sure what the average score teams are hitting during the period we are looking at, but Dimitroff looks to be above the average in 2011.