clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What positions have the Falcons drafted under Thomas Dimitroff?

Do these draft picks point toward what’s ahead?

With the draft looming most loomily, it’s time to take a step back and consider the draft as it has been for the Falcons over the last decade. The common denominator that entire time has been Thomas Dimitroff, and while it’s impossible to tell exactly how much credit or blame he should get for selections during this era, it is quite possible to look at who the team ended up with and glean plenty of conclusions.

Here’s one we haven’t discussed just yet: Where the Falcons have gone in their draft classes from 2008-2017 by position. You’ll see some trends.

  • Linebacker: 11
  • Cornerback: 11
  • Safety: 8
  • Running Back/Fullback: 6
  • Defensive End: 6
  • Tackle: 6
  • Wide Receiver: 5
  • Defensive Tackle: 4
  • Tight End: 4
  • Guard: 3
  • Quarterback: 2
  • Center: 2
  • Punter: 1

What do these numbers really tell us? First, they would appear to tell us that a linebacker and cornerback are both likely choices, given the team’s extreme propensity for taking them under both Dan Quinn and Mike Smith. Cornerback currently boasts a fairly strong group (Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, Brian Poole, part-time Damontae Kazee, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Leon McFadden, project Deante Burton), but there are only four linebackers on the roster right now and three established safeties (and Kazee looks like a part-time corner, as we noted above). That means the Falcons are likely to expend draft choices at two of these positions, at minimum, especially because the Falcons have drafted all three of their starting linebackers in the last two years.

The team will be bucking a trend when they take a defensive tackle, as they will, because they’ve been gunshy about doing so since the 2009 class that saw them scoop up Peria Jerry and Vance Walker. Walker and Corey Peters were solid picks at the position, but for various reasons, both Jerry and Ra’Shede Hageman wound up being disappointing, and the team has generally populated the position with UDFAs and free agents in recent years. They could legitimately draft two this year, however.

Drawing any real conclusions based on where the Falcons have gone in the past is largely a fool’s errand, as they tend to draft with needs in mind in the early rounds. Late, though, the proclivity of Dimitroff drafts to tilt toward linebackers and defensive backs will probably matter a great deal, given both the team’s needs and their history.