Almost all of the Falcons’ current problems will be attributed to Thomas Dimitroff’s tenure as the team’s general manager. Whether it’s the middling roster talent or the mess of a salary cap, the buck always stopped at Dimitroff’s desk. Despite being one of, if not the best, general managers in franchise history, fans can’t get over the team’s current state, and Dimitroff is the easiest to blame.
The constant restructuring of Matt Ryan‘s contract, the fully-guaranteed contract handed to Julio Jones, and the slew of misses in the draft are all valid reasons to point the finger at him. The most notorious draft day blunder has to be the selection of Vic Beasley, who went 8th overall in 2015 and recorded a league-leading 15.5 sacks at one point. However, he quickly reverted to the mean, resulting in his fifth-year option being declined.
Dimitroff spoke on the subject:
“You’re not going to miss on that cornerback’s right foot that’s splayed out and doesn’t allow him to cut right,” Dimitroff said via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You’re not missing on the movement. You’re not missing on the athleticism. You’re missing on that Vic Beasley didn’t maybe have the, unfortunately, the passion that we wanted (him) to carry into it. You can look at that on a number of different levels.”
He brings up some valid points. The NFL has some of the greatest parity among professional sports, and the difference between good and great players will always be hard work and dedication to their craft. You can be the most physically talented prospect in the draft, but without the drive to be the best, complacency usually results in mediocrity. And Beasley is no different, not even playing in 2021. However, the former Clemson Tiger wasn’t the only draft blunder of Dimitroff’s career.
“Jalen Collins, I mean, he was a good athlete and helped us do things, but it wasn’t prolonged because he had his own stuff, right?” Dimitroff said via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We thought we could change (him). I just think that idea of missing on the person not the player. I think it’s probably that way amongst a lot of people in sport, other sports as well.”
Collins was selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft out of LSU, where he reportedly had difficulties passing drug tests. That carried over when he got into the league, only making it five seasons as a professional. Collins has been suspended by the NFL on multiple occasions for violating their substance abuse policy and now will look to catch on in the CFL.
This new regime in charge of the Falcons has put a premium on intangibles as much as the physical attributes, even if they pursued the highly controversial Deshaun Watson. Drafting a hard worker over an ultra-talented player with questions surrounding their work ethic will work out on average more than the other way around, in my opinion.
Who do you think is the biggest Falcons draft bust?
Photo: Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire
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