Given his webcam interview before joining the organization it’s little surprise that, at the end of the the Falcons portion of the 2010 NFL Draft, General Manager Thomas Dimitroff turned to his computer and technology tools.
On the screen, he showed Falcons Owner and CEO Arthur Blank all the variables, scenarios and plans his team constructed for the three-day draft.
The Falcons seventh and final pick in the bag, the best scenario held true.
Dimitroff said the players Atlanta selected over the past three days and nights were the ones the Birds “truly targeted.”http://video.atlantafalcons.com/video/296605/296605_2010-04-24-161612.flv
The general manager also answered some questions of interest to fans curious there was not more of a focus on defense. Head Coach Mike Smith and Dimitroff stressed a balanced draft leading into the week and that’s what happened — three offense and four defense.
“When you’re talking about marquee pass rushers, people we thought could come in here and be marquee for years to come, those players usually come off the board quite early,” Dimitroff said, highlighting the team’s desire and happiness in acquiring Sean Weatherspoon in the first round.
Defensive ends available, according to Dimitroff, weren’t as good a system fit as some that came off the board before Falcons’earlier selections.
“In the end we feel very strongly about our young guys,” Dimitroff said, noting the emergence of Lawrence Sidbury and Kroy Biermann and adding vote of confidence for Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham.
The Falcons can also expect an increase in pressure from the interior of the line with the return of 2009 first-round pick Peria Jerry and the arrival of Corey Peters — the team’s third-round pick out of Kentucky.
“There are a number of ways to eliminate the explosive plays in the passing game,” Dimitroff said. “We’ll be creative with our sub defense as far as getting up field.”
Atlanta Falcons Round-by-Round Picks
|Falcons’ Pick||Selection (School)||Notes|
|1st Rd. (No. 19 overall)||LB Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri)||Blog | Pics | Video|
|3rd Rd. (No. 83 overall)||DT Corey Peters (Kentucky)||Blog | Pics | Video|
|3rd Rd. (No. 98 overall)||OL Mike Johnson (Alabama)||Blog | Pics | Video|
|4th Rd. (No. 117 overall)||OL Joe Hawley (UNLV)||Blog | Pics|
|5th Rd. (No. 135 overall)||CB Dominique Franks (Oklahoma)||Blog | Pics | Video|
|5th Rd. (No. 165 overall)||WR Kerry Meier (Kansas)||Blog | Pics|
|6th Rd. (No. 171 overall)||S Shann Schillinger (Montana)||Blog|
Fifth-round pick Dominque Franks and sixth-round selection Shann Schillinger add depth to a secondary that ran into more than its share of injuries in 2009 — an insurance policy at one of the game’s most important positions, according to Dimitroff.
On top of first-round pick Weatherspoon (speed, athleticism, production), the Falcons also added a pair of interior offensive lineman and a receiver known for his football IQ and ability to catch the ball over the middle of the field (Kerry Meier).
They may not all be household names, but they’re Falcons.
And they’re the Falcons the team wanted.
“We came away with everything we were truly looking for, and not just from a position standpoint,” Dimitroff said. ”Very nice Falcon fits.”
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