Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff knows this is his last chance. He must. It’s got to happen this season or his tenure as the Falcons GM will end. Fact. Sure, there are other career opportunities. Maybe he latches on with another front office in some capacity, or maybe he starts the combination bikes shorts/pomade store he’s always dreamed about. But as the Falcons GM, he’s already swung and missed twice. Two fastballs, each straight down the middle. The count is now 0-2 and either he hits a home run or he’s headed ... elsewhere in 2021.
The NFL Draft is 2 weeks away and the Falcons are having to adapt, just like the rest of us, and just like the other 31 NFL teams. Instead of working out and conducting in-person interviews with every available prospect that’s made his way onto their big board, they’re having to rely almost exclusively on the pre-Draft scouting that’s already been done. It’s a less than ideal approach, but it’s the only option they have. And assuming their scouting to date was solid, they should have nothing to worry about, right?
Dimitroff spoke with the media earlier in the week about this conundrum. And for what it’s worth, he’s saying this is a challenge they are ready to tackle.
Thomas Dimitroff told @TBM929 & @randymac81 the Falcons must rely on their scouting department in this draft where they can't go out to meet and watch with everyone. But that's nothing new, he feels their scouting department has always done a fantastic job prepping he & DQ.— 92.9 The Game (@929TheGame) April 7, 2020
This is, of course, a situation every NFL team will have to confront in the days ahead. Draft prospects are the farthest thing from a sure-thing. That’s why every pre-Draft interview and workout matters. That’s why teams send their scouts to pro days all around the country. And let’s be honest, it’s what Dimitroff had to say in the moment. He can’t complain or lament the current landscape, because it’s the same universe the other 31 general managers are existing in. If they’re figuring out how to make it work, he has to do the same thing.
Here’s the bottom line: There’s certainly a science to drafting. Some teams do it better than others. And given the level state of the playing field, the inability to conduct some pre-draft workouts and interviews probably shouldn’t make or break any given team’s draft haul. In other words, this isn’t an excuse. It can’t be.
Your thoughts, Falcoholics?