I figured I should cap off this series all about the three best players at multiple positions (and some of the best plays) with something that would gin up a little interest and give us some fireworks. This topic ought to do it.
I’m asking you to name the three best general managers in team history, and it is slim pickings, let me tell you. Here’s my three:
- Ken Herock
- Thomas Dimitroff
- Dan Reeves
Herock was the general manager for nearly a decade, and while his mistakes were legion, he also landed Jamal Anderson, Bert Emanuel, Bob Whitfield, Chuck Smith, Brett Favre (oops), Deion Sanders, and Mike Pritchard. His actual hit rate was putrid, but the guys he hit on are some of the most familiar names in team history, and he legitimately built the foundation for the Super Bowl-bound 1998 team. He’s a polarizing figure in team history for a very good reason, but he tops this list more or less by default.
Dimitroff did an admirable job of building the Falcons back up after a disastrous 2007 season, and he’s gotten the Falcons the likes of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Michael Turner, Desmond Trufant, William Moore, and the immortal Kroy Biermann over the years, acquisitions that led the team to its first sustained bout of success. He also ignored the pass rush for years, has a bad habit of trading away draft assets to move up, and made a series of personnel decisions in 2011 and 2012 that has landed the team in a three year stretch of mediocrity. I’ve liked his last couple of drafts, however, and if the team does rebound soon we’ll have to give him due consideration for the top spot if he’s still here.
Reeves made a ton of terrible draft picks over the years—look at his draft history if you don’t believe me—but he also hit some of the biggest home runs in team history, landing Patrick Kerney, Keith Brooking, Michael Vick, and a handful of others. He was a better coach than a GM, though.
Rich McKay is in the conversation for getting his hands on Roddy White and Jonathan Babineaux, and nearly every GM in team history had a couple of quality picks. There just hasn’t been the kind of standout, legendary executive that has piloted the team to a Super Bowl win in part due to his savvy moves. Perhaps that day will come.
What does your list look like?