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Falcons Were Set To Move Up For DE If They Couldn’t Land Julio Jones

The road to the unemployment line is littered with wide receiver busts. If the Falcons were going to move up, they could have moved up for a pass rusher. In fact, if they couldn’t move up for Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, they were set to attempt a smaller move up for a defensive end, but General Manager Thomas Dimitroff, along with his talented lieutenants Les Snead and Dave Caldwell, did a lot of research about moving up for a defensive end versus a receiver, contemplating a trade for over a month.

They noticed of all the first round defensive ends picked over the last five years, very few of them were producing double digit sack numbers. “There are issues with receivers, no question about it,” Dimitroff said. “Our thoughts were there have been just as many busts at quarterback, defensive tackle and defensive end.” Dimitroff is not alone in his reasoning. “I talked with some of my cohorts who are more in line with that kind of thinking,” he said. “There are certain groups in this league who philosophically are more steeped in a traditional mindset.

“You only draft certain positions that high, or only move up high for a player at certain positions. But there seems to be a newer order of thought. If that player is in fact impactful, a potential difference maker not only with skill set but with leadership ability, then I think there is more consideration now than ten or 15 years ago.”


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