By Dave Choate
In Thomas Dimitroff's time as general manager, the Falcons have adopted a three-pronged draft strategy. Those three prongs, in no particular order, seem to be:
- Fill needs and holes in the roster
- Try to find diamonds in the rough
- Draft Keith Zinger
This strategy has led to some great picks and some really questionable ones over the last five years, but it also has undeniably produced a winning football team with the kind of offense that causes opposing teams to soil their britches. What it hasn't done is produce an elite defense.
That's why I want to argue for the Falcons taking the best player available in this draft...assuming that player is on defense. I'm not expecting the Falcons to sink 11 picks into the D, and there's a case to be made that if Tyler Eifert is on the board, the Falcons should consider drafting him. But I think the majority of their picks need to go to the D, and I'm not sure they need to get too cute about patching holes.
Look at it this way: We can all agree that the Falcons could use talent at cornerback, linebacker and defensive end, and at minimum depth at safety. If the best player on the board at 30 is a linebacker, you don't force the cornerback. You go get that linebacker, knowing damn well that there will be plenty of playing time for him. You do the same if a Tank Carradine or Bjoern Werner makes it there, even if the Falcons are stouter at defensive end than they were a couple of weeks ago.
Dimitroff's draft board will always look different than ours, because he "reaches" for players like Corey Peters
and Wilrey Fontenot
, which okay, I guess that last one is a reach. He has gone for the best players available, but usually within the context of a roster need. In a draft loaded with promising defenders, I think it may be time to loosen the reins on that strategy just a little and get the BDA.
What do you think?