Being a general manager is a tough job. Even the best general managers have a spotty history full of busts, free agency misfires, and potentially multiple head coaches. As much analytics, measurements, testing, and analytics go into scouting, a big component of the job is clearly more art than science.
So criticism of general managers should be taken with a grain of salt. With all of that in mind, when reviewing the latest general manager rankings, Dimitroff’s ranking is... surprising.
Dimitroff snuck into the top half of the league at 14th overall in this year’s Rotoworld rankings.
Thomas Dimitroff’s second championship window closed as quickly as it opened. 14-18 over the past two seasons, Dimitroff’s roster lacks high-end talent on defense. The offensive line is below average. The head coach is overmatched.
We did not even get to the ongoing, endless cap crunch. Or that the team’s first-round pass rusher left in free agency in the same offseason the team passed on the fifth-year option on another first-round pass rusher. The team’s endless attempt to make either line a strength. Losing a Pro Bowl tight end that the team never even offered a contract extension.
That is not to say there were no positives. Dimitroff has undoubtably done more than most general managers have managed. Yet, as pointed out, things look grim.
Dimitroff secured a genuine franchise quarterback his first year on the job. He added one of the players of the decade in Julio Jones three seasons later. That’s been enough to fuel two separate title runs. For a third, Dimitroff must break a long downturn on defense and find more ways to keep an aging Matt Ryan upright. He got off to a bad start for 2020, reaching for CB A.J. Terrell in the first round of the draft and failing to supply meaningful upgrades for Ryan. Only three teams have allowed more sacks over the past three seasons.
The hair half of the braintrust has so much riding on 2020 after back-to-back-to-back disaster offseasons that have left this team with the glaring holes mentioned. Yet, that is still good enough for 14th best in the league.
Despite multiple, multiple, multiple bad choices, Dimitroff still never traded away DeAndre Hopkins for half a sandwich or drafted Mitch Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson. So that’s good, right?