Thomas Dimitroff enjoyed early hailing (?) for his work with the Falcons, especially his transformative 2008 draft class. After 2012, he fell out of favor with the fanbase and pundits, especially because his 2012 draft class was such an abject disaster.
Now, of course, Dimitroff is once again one of the more well-respected executives in football. His responsibilities have changed considerably over the years, to the point where it’s no longer clear how much influence and power he wields when it comes time to draft for this team. His name is on it, though, and with the 2017 draft approaching, I thought it might be worthwhile to check in on his best picks in each season he has been in Atlanta.
2016: Keanu Neal, 1st round
2015: Vic Beasley, 1st round
2014: Devonta Freeman, 4th round
2013: Desmond Trufant, 1st round
2012: Jonathan Massaquoi, 5th round
2011: Julio Jones, 1st round
2010: Corey Peters, 3rd round
2009: William Moore, 2nd round
2008: Matt Ryan, 1st round
This is hardly scientific, but you can see pretty clearly that Thomas Dimitroff does his best work in the first round, as you’d expect for any NFL GM. If you prefer Sean Weatherspoon to Corey Peters, that’s six out of the last nine drafts where the first rounder has been the best selection Dimitroff has made, and five without. There are a fair number of NFL GMs who whiff even on first rounders, so I’m not completely damning with faint praise, here.
The last couple of draft classes have been stellar for Atlanta, but it’s pretty obvious that Dimitroff’s best pick this season will be likely to emerge from the first round. That’s why whoever the team winds up with will be worth your attention this summer as Atlanta tries to defend its Super Bowl berth in the NFC.