Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was his typical self on Thursday when he met with the media for his pre-draft press conference: open and honest, while keeping all the good details for draft night. However, he did share some information and thoughts about this year's draft class and some of the preparations he and his staff have put in during the offseason. With Dimitroff's recent history of trading in the draft, that of course was a hot topic.
Without a first-round pick last year in the wake of the
“To have a full draft this year is good," Dimitroff said. "It feels good. It feels solid. It feels like we’re going in with leverage. ... We did what we did in free agency and re-signed people as well as having 11 picks, it’s a comforting feeling. At 30, the ability to move up and down is important for us.”
Dimitroff stressed trading in the draft can mean any direction, although the trades up are what get all the headlines. The two-time General Manager of the Year said 30 is a great spot in this year's draft because of the flexibility, especially with the possibility of teams at the top of the second round looking to move back into the first round for a quarterback.
Fortunately for the Falcons there are no starting QB needs in Atlanta, but Dimitroff addressed the defensive side of the draft, an area many believe Dimitroff needs to tackle with a number of 2013 draft picks.
He pointed to the quality of defensive backs in this year's draft in addition to good depth of potential picks along the defensive line. He doesn't characterize this year as a "wow-factor draft," but sees numerous solid football players that can help.
With his history of bold moves firmly in place, Dimitroff said he's gotten calls consistently each year since the Jones deal from teams looking to get the Falcons involved in a big deal. With 11 picks a lot can happen and Dimitroff said he and his staff are approaching the draft with an open book and "open to do business."
"I think it’s very clear that we are open for big deals as well should they ever come across our table and it's something we’re interested in," Dimitroff said.
He added that with a week remaining before next Thursday's first round, now is the time that teams will begin to reach out and discuss trade possibilities and parameters. The night of the draft while on the clock, he said, is not a time to start cooking up deals.
And with a week to go, Dimitroff feels he and his team are ready to go, after having analyzed countless scenarios and possibilities. They enter Thursday night with 11 picks, but there's no guarantee they emerge from this year's draft with 11 new potential players.
“As a staff, as a coaching staff, as a personnel staff, as team builders, we’re really excited about going into this draft with 11 (picks)," Dimitroff said. "It doesn’t mean we’ll come out with 11.”