Over the past decade-plus in Atlanta, Thomas Dimitroff’s standing among his fellow general managers have remained consistently high in the league itself and has swung wildly between admiration and disrespect elsewhere. When the Falcons nabbed Matt Ryan, traded for Tony Gonzalez, and landed key players like Michael Turner and Julio Jones, he was beloved among fans. When the team stunk the house out in 2013 and 2014 and muddled through 2015, he was pretty well reviled.
If you consider his entire stint in Atlanta, though, it’s hard to argue against Dimitroff being anything but a quality executive, and certainly one of the primary architects of the best stretch of success this team has ever known. His well-known shakiness drafting in the trenches has been his Achilles heel despite better success with the likes of Jake Matthews and Grady Jarrett, but the team he’s built has been pretty successful, having one of the ten best regular season records in the league since he arrived and a surprisingly decent playoff record considering you know what never mind.
That’s a typically long-winded way of saying that you shouldn’t be stunned to learn that Dimitroff, who usually grades out in these kinds of rankings as a mid-tier GM, is all the way up at #5 on Gregg Rosenthal’s new rankings at NFL.com.
Just in time for the draft, here's my second annual attempt at alienating GMs by ranking them https://t.co/0RGIPgigno pic.twitter.com/rQGAgt2ebe— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) April 22, 2019
Here’s how Rosenthal justified the ranking:
The 2018 season went horribly awry in a number of ways for Dimitroff, but this rank attempts to take the longview, like general managers do. Dimitroff’s track record with two different head coaches is impressive, although it’s fair to question whether the Falcons have rewarded some of the wrong players lately. Devonta Freeman’s post-contract injuries are mostly bad luck, but cornerback Robert Alford’s extension proved premature and the organization’s continued loyalty to Vic Beasley hasn’t borne fruit. Still, there’s too much talent on this roster to stay down for long.
The Falcons seem likely to rebound a bit from their awful, star-crossed 2018 season, which would probably further solidify Dimitroff’s place on this list. It’s worth wondering how much credit for the current roster should go to him versus Dan Quinn or even Scott Pioli, but Dimitroff’s fingerprints are all over some of the moves that have landed the Falcons their best players, and he and DQ are to the best of our knowledge hand-in-hand on the team’s moves. It’s nice to see him get credit, especially after a down year.
Of course, what would really cement his legacy is a huge draft class in 2019, one that finally pushes the Falcons over the hump and wins them a Super Bowl. Just saying.