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Did the Falcons’ 2011 Draft Set the Team Back?

We have all heard this question asked before. Did The Falcons give up too much in 2011 when they traded away 3 picks to grab Julio Jones in 2011. Well, lets take a closer look at what has happened since then, and you can decide for yourself. To get into the spirit of this debate, let’s do a little flashback to the 2011 draft. The Cleveland Browns have just traded the 6th overall pick of the 2011 draft to the Atlanta Falcons in return for their 1st, 2nd, and 4th round picks from the 2011 draft and their 1st and 4th round pick in 2012. With the number 6 over all selection the Atlanta Falcons select, WR Julio Jones. University of Alabama.

Every blog, draft expert, and Falcon fan was discussing this as soon as it happened. “WOW! They gave up their future for one player!” Fans loved it. Fans hated it.

Since the controversial draft trade by the Falcons in 2011, Julio Jones has put many fans at ease with stellar and exciting play.

Since the controversial draft trade by the Falcons in 2011, Julio Jones has put many fans at ease with stellar and exciting play.

Prior to the draft I had predicted the Falcons would make a big trade and go for A.J. Green at no.4 held by the Bengals. Well, the Falcons tried. They offered the same package to the Bengals, who declined. I can’t blame them. They drafted wide receiver A. J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton that year and have done a nice rebuilding job in Cincinnati. The Browns however, couldn’t resist such a loaded package deal. The Falcons got their big offensive playmaker.

 

An Arm and a Leg?

Did Falcons’ GM Thomas Dimitroff throw away the Falcons’ future to get the explosive offensive playmaker they wanted? Dimitroff went against the advice of his former mentor, Patriots’ HC Bill Belichick. He was told the cost was too great and that he should take wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin at no. 27. Dimitroff didn’t take that advice. He felt confidant in Julio Jones and pulled the trigger.

Let’s take a look at what it cost the Falcons. Who else they could have had in the top half of the draft, what players were taken with the picks they gave up, and what players were taken around their picks that they could have made a move to get. Lets take a look at what players the other teams selected with the picks Atlanta gave up shall we, shall we?

YearPickTeamPlayer
201126Kansas CityJonathan Baldwin
201159ClevelandGreg Little
2011124ClevelandOwen Marecic
201222ClevelandBrandon Weeden
2012118MinnesotaJarius Wright

 

Since coming to the Falcon Dimitroff has only brought winning seasons and swagger.

Since coming to the Falcon Dimitroff has only brought winning seasons and swagger.

Well, if you go off that alone, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would rather have those players over Julio Jones. He is miles better than anyone on that list. I saw those names and took a deep breathe of relief. Then I looked at players around where they traded to get Jones. Specifically, I looked at players that would have filled a void we currently have and other WRs that were taken after the Falcons selected Jones. Dimitroff has been making big moves when he can so I feel this is relevant. Of course you can usually find how a team could have picked better after a few years, so this is a little easier to see after a draft is over.

I’ll assume since the Bengals didn’t accept the trade offer, the Falcons would not have been able to move higher than them. So here it is, players taken around pick. no.6 that would have filled a void the Falcons currently have:

YearPickTeamPlayer
20115ArizonaPatrick Peterson
20117San FransiscoAldon Smith
201111HoustonJ.J. Watt
201113DetroitNick Fairley
201116WashingtonRyan Kerrigan
201124New OrleansCameron Jordan

How would the Falcons be sitting right now if they landed Aldon Smith or J.J. Watt? They probably would have had to give up their 2nd rounder still for everyone of those players except maybe Kerrigan and Jordan. If they could have gotten Kerrigan or Jordan, here are two WRs that would have been attainable in the 2nd round.

YearPickTeamPlayer
201158BaltimoreTorrey Smith
201164Green BayRandall Cobb

The Browns selected Greg Little at no.59, but I think if the Falcons took one of those other players in the 1st round they might have tried to jump a few spots to take the speedy Smith who ran a 4.43 40 yard dash. If not, Randall Cobb would have been fine by me! Now, the Browns jumped to  no.21 from 27 with the Chiefs and also gave up a 3rd rounder to do so.  They selected DE Phil Taylor. He had a solid rookie year, but missed 8 games last year. It would have been cool if the Falcons did the same and selected someone like him or Cameron Jordan, then grabbed Smith or Cobb in the next round. If only we had a magical crystal ball on draft days…

Let’s look at what we could’ve done in 2012. To do this, we assume we kept our 1st round and 4th round pick. But, for the sake of argument, we’ll say we gave up our 4th rounder to move around a little still the prior year.

Browns selected QB Brandon Weeden at no.22. Well, we know that wouldn’t have been our choice. Who was around that area you ask? Honestly, I’m not crazy about a lot of the players around that part of the draft. The Panthers selected Luke Kuelchy at no. 9.  I mean, Doug Martin was taken at 31, but the Falcon’s still had Turner before he imploded and had drafted Rodgers the year before in the 5th round (what a steal). 2nd round we chose C Peter Konz (our starter at C this year), taken 3 spots ahead of Lavonte David. As good as I think David is, Konz is a player we desperately need now. 3rd round we traded back and selected Laamar Holmes (also should be a starter this year). In the 4th round the Browns used our pick on ILB James-Michael Johnson…yeah, who? There is no other players in the near vicinity  that would have really helped the Falcons then or now.

 

Bringing it All Together

This article really feels like I’m just talking about a lot of what-ifs. But, I felt it was necessary because people still question that wild 2011 draft by the Falcons, and it still is talked about on this very site. People tend to just see what we gave, and don’t generally look at what we could have gotten. To get the big picture, you have to look at who was taken, who was available, and what similar trades could have possibly been made. Heck, draft boards would look a lot different today for the 2011 draft than it did then. You can’t predict how rookies will pan out. Yeah, there might have been a better draft available for us. But, that’s a lot of what-ifs. The fact is Dimitroff made the move, and Julio is considered one of the best WRs in the league just two years in. He is the future of the Falcons offensive team, along with Ryan. It’s not like the Falcons haven’t made the playoffs since this draft pick, and I truly feel that if our future was given up for Julio, this would not be happening. The Falcons may have some glaring needs as it stands, but ask yourself, doesn’t every team? Julio has brought excitement here, and I for one am glad Dimitroff pulled the trigger on him. He’s a freak of nature that only comes around every few years.

 

 

 

1121 comments
JVince 11
JVince 11

NEW ARTICLE UP.... not posting it. you lazy fucks.

JVince 11
JVince 11

Packers practice starts in 13 minutes..... 


I might report a live update or two..... just a little bit... 

Brick finger
Brick finger

Morning/evening All,

Drew Magary has started his "Why Your Team Sucks" series. So far he's done Jags, Titans and Texans and they are funny as fuck.

As usual.

CONCHS333 IS BACK BITCHES
CONCHS333 IS BACK BITCHES

looks like Banks is gonna start opposite of Revis hes been practicing with the first team D. Also said they have been running a lot of 3 Safety nickel packages with Barron playing a LB/ S role close to the LOS and Black playing back with Goldson 

rocketman6969
rocketman6969

@50CaliberFalcon Look at the players taken at and just past the positions we traded to St. Louis.

30 - Alec Ogletree - LB
31 - Travis Frederick - C
32 - Matt Elam - S
33 - Johnathan Cyprien - S
34 - Justin Hunter - WR
35 - Zach Ertz - TE
36 - Darius Slay - CB
37 - Giovani Bernard - RB
38 - Manti Te'o - LB
39 - Geno Smith - QB
40 - Tank Carradine - DE

Of this group, I see only 2 the Falcons might have been insterested in: Carradine and Ogletree. Carradine was a possibility, but if we had stayed at 30 and Trufant and Rhodes were gone, we might have reached on Alford as well.

92 - Stedman Bailey - WR
93 - Will Davis - CB
94 - Brandon Williams - DT
95 - Sam Montgomery - DE
96 - Knile Davis - RB
97 - Zaviar Gooden - LB
98 - Matt Barkley - QB
99 - Nico Johnson - LB
100 - Akeem Spence - DT
101 - Ace Sanders - WR
102 - Josh Boyce - WR

No one really jumps out at me in this group, and honestly that's what you'd expect out of late 3rd and early fourth players. If we had kept this pick we might have gone with another D-Lineman, but I feel this pick was destined to be traded.

198 - Chris Jones - DT
199 - Theo Riddick - RB
200 - Kapron Lewis-Moore - DE
201 - Ryan Griffin - TE
202 - Khalid Wooten - CB
203 - Ryan Jensen - OT
204 - Branden Wilson - FB
205 - Stacy McGee - DT
206 - Vince Williams - LB
207 - Mike Catapano - DE
208 - Jeremy Harris - CB

A lot of these players will be fighting just to make their teams. There's a reason these picks are valued so low, late 6th and 7th rounders do not commonly become anything more than contributors in the NFL.

falconsriseup19
falconsriseup19

@JVince 11 rodgers is the best, wrs look good. lacy is fat, jones is huge and a gangsta, clay is beign lazy and the oline is shifting around. DONE

Andylet445
Andylet445

@rocketman6969 that's the only blurb you take out of that entire article?  not the fact he has severe depression and could be a head case in the NFL but that he put on a few pounds? 

JVince 11
JVince 11

@CONCHS333 @JVince 11 I honestly don't care about that.... i can name hundreds of guys that do that in the offseason before camp because they know the diet starts then... 


I played with guys who are in the NFL now that would go out to eat at all you can eat buffets and would eat so long that they were asked to leave..

falconsriseup19
falconsriseup19

@50CaliberFalcon @rocketman6969 i think with coffman/toilio we will have a good TE set for awhile. seems like coffman was a hidden gem. heard more praise about him than most players on our team. curious to see if we play more 2 TE sets this year...id like that.... so many matchup problems

Andylet445
Andylet445

the packers one is normally the best because Drew is a Vikings fan and his hatred is deep for my beloved team.