FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes a closer look at Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff's history of trading in the draft and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
They don't call him "Trader Tom" for nothing, folks. Dimitroff has earned that nickname for his reputation to make a draft-day trade in order to get his guy, most famously in 2011 when the Falcons moved up 21 spots to draft Julio Jones.
In a piece for TheAtlanta Journal-Constitution, D. Orlando Ledbetter combed through each of Dimitroff's 11 drafts as the Falcons' general manager and noted each trade he's made. Notably, Dimitroff has made a trade in ever single draft during his time with the Falcons.
To see each of those trades, click here.
The 2019 NFL Draft is only a month away and rapidly approaching. After more than a year of scouting these prospects the Falcons are putting the finishing touches on their draft plan.
Dimitroff was among the team's many scouts and coaches at The University of Georgia's pro day and told reporters that some NFL teams are jealous of the football talent located near the city of Atlanta.
"We are fortunate again to have such an unbelievable hotbed of talent, just natural pure talent from the state," Dimitroff said. "… That's why some of the guys complain to the league office about how unfair it is that we have our (local) day, and they are somewhere else. They complain about it all the time."
Ledbetter wrote about the Falcons' final preparations for the draft for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which you can read here.
Here is another article for Falcons fans to check out today:
ESPN: 'Grateful' Gronkowski announces retirement
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, one of the best in NFL history to play the position, announced his retirement via Instagram on Sunday.
"Rob's impact on our team and organization was felt in many ways," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. "In the ultimate team sport, Rob was a great, great teammate. His production spoke for itself, but his daily attitude, unmistakably positive energy wherever he went and toward whoever he touched will never be forgotten. Rob will leave an indelible mark on the Patriots organization and the game as among the best, most complete players at his position to ever play."