Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff stepped to the podium at the NFL Combine on Friday morning. He was the third GM to speak on Friday and he fanned the flames of draft trade talk among other topics. If you missed it, here are five things you’ll want to know that he discussed.
1) Open for Business: When your past success includes bold moves, many believe those same kind of moves are in your future. That’s the case for Dimitroff and many are convinced a jump from No. 6 in this year’s draft is inevitable. While Dimitroff obviously won’t give away his plan, he maintains that his feelings for being mobile in the draft haven’t changed: “I’ve said that from Day 1, since 2008, that I always want to have the light on for business. I never want to be one of those teams that people pick up the phone and they quickly throw the phone back down and hesitate to reach out thinking that we’re not going to be straight up. I think that’s the biggest thing. When you’re able to cultivate trades, it’s about being honest with people in your dealings and I think we’ve done a nice job with that and we’re always going to be open for business.”
2) Draft Planning: One of the fun things about the draft process every year is imagining the possibilities. Dimitroff said he and his staff are not only scouting for the right players to add to the Falcons this year, but they’re also doing some imagining of their own. The Falcons GM said they’ll use media reports from other teams to get a feel for what could happen in the draft and they’ve also dreamed up some “sometimes outlandish” scenarios so by the time the draft arrives, they’ll be prepared. Dimitroff said they take a similar approach in free agency: ”By draft time, we’ll have myriad contingencies and scenarios. We run through that time and time again. Honestly, we do that in free agency as well and where we’re directed in free agency potentially. It becomes a real intricate process.”
3) Locker Room Character: A lot of talk has been given to the type of player the Falcons should add. While Dimitroff said he’s been careful using the word “rugged” to describe what he’s looking for, he did stress that he believes a team doesn’t require a locker room full of players living life on the edge to field a team that pushes the envelope on the field: ”I believe you can truly have a very good locker room and still win football games and win a lot of football games in this league.”
4) Social Media: Most everyone uses social media in some way these days and Dimitroff acknowledged that. The GM said the team monitors prospective draft picks’ activity on social media, sharing that he believes he has to keep up with the times: ”If we’re leading and approaching things the same way we did six years ago, then we’re missing the boat.”
5) Keeping Our Own: Dimitroff has some Falcons free agents to deal with during the offseason and although there have been reports that the Falcons would like to extend wide receiver Roddy White and an eventual new deal will be needed for Julio Jones, Dimitroff said the focus right now is on acquiring talent that isn’t already on the team: “As far as our focus right now, (it) is to continue to look at what we have on our team who are obviously going to be free agents this year and see how we can put the team together. The guys who are under contract, they’re always going to be our focus, but we’re trying to figure out which way to go before we dig into restructuring, renegotiating or adding on.”