Imagine life as Thomas Dimitroff right now. You’ve had a relatively successful if imperfect run as the general manager of the Falcons. But you may be reaching the end of your tenure in Atlanta if you can’t get the team back on track in 2020. What’s more, you have awkwardly large collections of pomade and bike shorts. In short, life could be worse. That said, you’re anything but complacent. You are determined to keep your job by any means necessary.
By this time next week, the Falcons will be wrapping up the 2020 NFL Draft. With any luck, they will have executed a focused, deliberate game plan, infusing the defense with talent. I hope to sing Dimitroff’s praises and convince myself the Falcons are equipped to somehow morph into a competitive football team in 2020.
There’s been a healthy amount of speculation about how the Falcons will approach a draft that is so extraordinarily important to future of the franchise. Heck, as ridiculous as the idea is on its face, we’ve even seen someone float a scenario where the Falcons trade up to draft their franchise quarterback of the future. But is this all a smokescreen, either created or perpetuated by the Falcons in order to gain some sort of tactical advantage? Short answer: maybe.
Remember, gamesmanship is part and parcel of the NFL Draft. NFL teams engage in all kinds of shenanigans before and during every draft. And NFL front offices are made up of competitive individuals whose jobs rely on their ability to secure and develop talented football players. They can’t rest on their laurels. If Dimitroff and company can fuel rumors of a trade up scenario, particularly one involving the selection of a player they have no real interest in, who does it hurt? In a perfect world, the player you really want then falls and is available to be selected with the 16th pick. But that’s just one scenario. The Falcons could also fuel the smokescreen in an attempt get teams to trade up for their pick, netting them additional picks later in the draft.
Your thoughts about a potential smokescreen scenario, Falcoholics?