Last Friday, the Falcons announced via Twitter the team conducted interviews with Anthony Robinson and Rick Smith for the vacant general manager position. Chase briefly covered the two candidates shortly after the news broke on Friday, but we will take a closer look at the internal candidate — Anthony Robinson.
We have interviewed Anthony Robinson and Rick Smith for the general manager position. https://t.co/uygakcAs0Q
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) December 19, 2020
It is always encouraging to see a company promote from within their own organization. If Anthony Robinson is selected to be the next Falcons general manager, he would be among many other internally promoted general managers across the league. Chris Grier (Dolphins), Eric DeCosta (Ravens), Kevin Colbert (Steelers), Brett Veach (Chiefs), Howie Roseman(Eagles), Brian Gutekunst (Packers), Rick Spielman (Vikings), Mickey Loomis (Saints), and Steve Keim (Cardinals) were all internally elevated to their current positions. Four of whom (DeCosta, Roseman, Loomis, and Keim) have won the Sporting News NFL Executive of the Year Award.
Matthew Tabeek, Digital Managing Editor of the Falcons, brought forward an inspiring story about how Robinson got into scouting. “I used to call Eric DeCosta and leave a message every day,” Robinson said. “Hi, my name is so-and-so, I want to get into scouting, what do I need to do? I’ll come work for free – and finally, he got tired of me calling. He didn’t say he did, but I know he did. I treated it like an interview.” DeCosta suggested Robinson go earn his degree and get into coaching, and he did just that.
Robinson played running back at Morgan State University before transferring to Florida State University and earning his bachelor’s degree in Sports Management in 2006. He was an Undergraduate Assistant Coach (wide receivers) at Florida State University from 2005 to 2007. He maintained contact with DeCosta throughout this time and eventually earned an internship.
His persistence and scouting background are equally impressive. First interning with the Baltimore Ravens’ player personnel department in 2006, then working with BLESTO Scouting as a Scouting Assistant Intern for two years. Once in Atlanta, he started as a Scouting Assistant for three seasons before being elevated to Southeast Area Ccout and then the team’s Eastern Regional Scout covering half the country in 2016. Now, Robinson enters his 13th season in the Falcons personnel department and his second as the team’s Director of College Scouting.
It is difficult to credit a single individual within an organization for successfully drafting or signing a player. But, Robinson has been involved in many successful choices. Below are some transactions of notable players acquired during his time with the team. Some have turned out better than others.
- WR Julio Jones – via draft
- C Alex Mack – via free agency
- DT Grady Jarrett – via draft
- K Matt Bryant – via free agency
- RB Devonta Freeman – via draft
- WR Calvin Ridley – via draft
- WR Mohamed Sanu – via free agency
- FB Patrick DiMarco – via free agency
- DB Desmond Trufant – via draft
- DB Ricardo Allen – via draft
- T Jake Matthews – via draft
- RB Tevin Coleman – via draft
- DE Vic Beasley – via draft
- LB De’Vondre Campbell – via draft
- TE Austin Hooper – via draft
- LB Deion Jones – via draft
- S Keanu Neal – via draft
- DE Takk McKinley – via draft
- LB Foye Oluokun – via draft
- WR Russell Gage – via draft
- CB Isaiah Oliver – via draft
- DE John Cominsky – via draft
- DB Kendall Sheffield – via draft
- T Kaleb McGary – via draft
- G Chris Lindstrom – via draft
- DB A.J. Terrell – via draft
Although Robinson is a long shot, I respect Rich McKay for giving him an interview. He has proven his devotedness to his craft and the organization itself and was rewarded with a conversation with Arthur Blank. Robinson would not be the blockbuster hire that most fans are wanting, but sometimes the quiet and meticulous hires turn out to be the most fruitful.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire