Early Bird Report: A closer look at Thomas Dimitroff's draft-day trading record

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 The Atlanta 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.

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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.

View this post on Instagram

It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

"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."

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