Falcons won Julio Jones trade but would like to forget 2012 draft

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff might be trying to explain to owner Arthur Blank here what went wrong in the 2012 draft. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff might be trying to explain to owner Arthur Blank here what went wrong in the 2012 draft. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff might be trying to explain to owner Arthur Blank here what went wrong in the 2012 draft. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

The mixed results of the Falcons’ 2012 draft in brief:

• THE VERY BAD: Their top pick (second round), center/guard Peter Konz has been cut, reaffirming that the 2012 draft will go down as one of the worst in Falcons history.

• THE VERY GOOD: The Cleveland Browns cut defensive lineman Phil Taylor, their last player connected to the Julio Jones trade, when the Falcons sent five draft picks to Cleveland (including the 2012 first-rounder) for the chance to draft Jones (who has become one of the NFL’ premier receivers and just signed a five-year, $71 million contract extension).

First, about the Jones trade (again). I’ve never criticized it because it gave the Falcons a difference maker and also their best player, other than possibly Matt Ryan. I understand the arguments about how those other draft picks could have/might have helped the team avoid problems in future seasons on the offensive and defensive lines but I would love to hear names of the players who could’ve had a greater impact that Jones.

What many forget is that the Falcons still had other draft picks in 2011 and 2012, they just picked the wrong guys — just as Cleveland picked the wrong players with their five choices. They used one to move up in the first round in 2011 (after the Falcons’ deal) to get Taylor, a defensive tackle from Baylor. He was decent enough against the run but overall not nearly the player they hoped for and was limited after two knee surgeries.

The Browns’ three other players from the Jones’ trade: wide receiver Greg Little (second round, 2011), released after three seasons; fullback Owen Marecic (fourth round, 2011), released after two seasons; quarterback Brandon Weeden (first round, 2012), who was released after two seasons. Now they have nothing to show for the Jones trade, as ESPN’s Pat McManamon outlines here.

But the Falcons have had their own draft problems. They didn’t have a first-round pick in 2012 because of the Jones’ deal but look how the rest of their draft went:

• Round 2 (55): Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin. Falcons center Todd McClure retired after the 2012 season because he knew general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith were not going to bring him back for one more season, believing Konz could replace him. They were wrong. Konz couldn’t play center or guard in the NFL, suffered a torn ACL last season and took an injury settlement Tuesday.

• Round 3 (91): Lamar Holmes, T, Southern Miss. Another player trumpeted by management who hasn’t amounted to much. He played only four games last season, partly because of a foot injury, and now is out with a broken foot. He was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

• Round 5 (157): Bradie Ewing, FB, Wisconsin: Played two games in two seasons, then was released.

• Round 5 (164): Jonathan Massaquoi, DE, Troy: Played three seasons, with six sacks in his last two, but was released after last year.

• Round 6 (192): Charles Mitchell, S, Mississippi State: Special teams for part of one season, then gone.

• Round 7 (249): Travian Robertson, DT, South Carolina: Hung around two years, hardly played, then cut.

Let’s assume the Falcons will not be commemorating their 2012 draft class any time in the future.

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Reader Comments 0

46 comments
GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

No doubt that Dimitroff and McKay are the poster boys for incompetence in this organization and contributed heavily to the under achievements and current downward slide. That said, more than just those imbeciles were responsible for the ill conceived moves following the NFC title game that has this team in the predicament its in today. From Arthur on down, this organization falsely believed after coming up '10 yards short of the SB' that all they needed was a reliable RB and to retain Tony G to win the next seasons SB. In the process they let a veteran OL man leave for free agency and hardly did a thing to shore up a porous D that almost cost them their lone playoff win in the M Ryan era. The blame for this poor strategy starts right at the top.

SaulK
SaulK

Jeff and the AJC have to suck up to Arthur and the falcons brass to keep in good to get lots of nice benefits like comped tickets, parking, food, drinks, inside interview, etc. It never changes.

Mandingo
Mandingo

Can we all agree the Falcons will not be in the Super Bowl just like 29 other teams ? Blank will keep making plenty of money off of his investment.  The Falcons will be rebuilding for another 10 years or so. And you chumps will keep on buying tickets, paying $ 20 dollars to park and $ 10 dollars for a hot dog because you have nothing better to do with your time and money during football season. So stop complaining and put on your cheerleader skirts and get your a$$ to the game before kick off.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Mandingo: "Can we all agree the Falcons will not be in the Super Bowl just like 29 other teams?"

______________________

You mean "just like 49 other seasons."

patriotdog
patriotdog

Julio was a great collegiate receiver who was injured a good bit. He's been the same in the pros. Many of the draft picks of the TD era, Ewing the FB, Holmes the OT, Baker the OT, Johnson the OG, were good college players who had injury problems in college. TD drafted them anyway, and they are all gone which is what any reasonable

person would've expected. As Denny Green said "they are what we think they are". The question in my mind is not "Who won the trade?", but "why is the mastermind of the trade still here after building a fantasy team of playmakers that cannot compete on a real football field?" Teams are built and games are won on the line, not at wideout.

Both line suck, the O line is hideous.

Evan Mathis and Richie Incognito, now rehabilitated, couldve helped.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Heard Schultz on the radio today and he was somewhat apologetic for Dimitroff.  Said he had a lot draft misses, but also had some hits.  I don't see drafting Ryan as some major draft coup. It  was an obvious choice.  It's not like he stole him in the 3rd round or something.  We needed a quarterback.  Ryan was only one of two QB's in that draft.  He basically landed in our laps when the Dolphins drafted Jake Long and the Rams drafted Chris Long.    

Wilbo
Wilbo

Does anybody really care?

WhopperDawg
WhopperDawg

Yep, the 2012 is toast, nothing left.


However, the idea that the trade should be judged in any part as a result of what Cleveland did with those picks is critically flawed. The only judgment that can be made is what we would have done with them.


That being said. as inept as Dimitroff is in drafting, that may even be a stronger argument for the trade then what Cleveland did. Actually, Dimitroff would be well served in trading much of every draft to move up and select a "sure pick" rather than playing his hand which typically results in disaster.

Poledawg83
Poledawg83

Why go back to 2012.  It is already safe to say we had a horrible 2014 draft.  LB was a position of need.  3 drafted, 3 gone.  With TD calling the shots our only hope is to trade the rest of the picks for a top 10 and hope he is a "can't miss" like Julio.  Maybe we should do that every year.

E983
E983

The Julio Jones pick gave us an offensive threat the rest of the NFL dreams about. The defense is finally addressed with the hiring of Dan Quinn. The offensive line is the last piece of the puzzle. Until next year when free agency and the draft will give us something to work with it will be a hit and miss with "what's out there" to run block and keep our QB from getting sacked 30 to 50 times this season.

NorwegianBlue
NorwegianBlue

@Edgar You are very optimistic, generous and forgiving. Unlike my ex-wife...

Big Wally
Big Wally

This only proves that the Cleveland GM was worse than Dimitroff.  It still doesn't mean he has a clue as to what he is doing as evidenced by the rest of his draft picks.  

Big Wally
Big Wally

@DawgNole @JSSN @Big Wally Dimitroff is a lousy GM, but he must be the greatest salesman in the world.  He has sold Blank on himself, and that takes a lot considering his horrible job performance.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@JSSN @Big Wally

Yup, most teams eventually get rid of incompetent GMs. Even Cleveland understands that. ATL, on the other hand . . . .

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

The whole "winning the trade" vs. "losing the trade" is extremely shortsighted.  We're acting like the Falcons and Browns were competing against eachother with the deal which is insane.  Both were trying to improve.  The better way to say it is that the Browns were wrong since none of their picks panned out.


Meanwhile, for the Falcons, if you're going to sacrifice all those picks to move up that far and grab a specific player, that player BETTER turn out to be a star.  That player did become a star.  Therefore, the Falcons were right.


Now, there are naysayers that jump in and say things like "but we could have drafted Wilkerson Houston and Sherman with those picks and been better off."  That's a case of having hindsight.  Had anyone, (repeat: ANYONE) thought that those guys were going to be as good as they are, they'd have been drafted with the top three picks in the draft, and the Falcons would have never gotten them anyway.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@RichardKPE: "That player did become a star. Therefore, the Falcons were right."

____________________

You forgot the qualifier: "When he wasn't sidelined by injury."

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

You had me until you said the Falcons were right.

The Falcons were successful in finding their future #1 WR but that's it. If the goal was to find an exciting primary target for Ryan then the Falcons succeeded. Unfortunately for them, many fans hoped the goal was to build a championship team. The Jones trade was an "all in" move also known as mortgaging the future.

It backfired badly as the Falcons forgot how to score in the 2nd half of the NFC Championship Game. Of all things, scoring is what the team was supposed to be able to do best.

That's in the past now and the Falcons are rebuilding once again. This time they have a solid veteran QB and an injury prone star WR but not much other proven talent. With so much invested in a QB and 1 WR, the GM now has to do something he hasn't been able to do his entire career and that's draft well in multiple rounds and multiple seasons in a row.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@RichardKPE @DawgNole

He's not a Hall of Fame player, and you didn't make the same statement about him.

Like I said, you forgot the qualifier.

JSSN
JSSN

@RichardKPE

Did they send that message to Jim Brown and Walter Payton?

HonchoPoncho
HonchoPoncho


New stadium, same old team problems. There is no chance the Falcons will compete for a championship. This year, nor for many years to come. You don't build a winning team around a good QB and a great WR. Will the organization still get paid to have fake patriotism in its new stadium?

DoubleEE
DoubleEE

And this is why both the Browns and Falcons have struggled in recent seasons. No excuse for the Browns regarding the Jones trade. And no pass for Dimitroff on the 2012 draft class. Very poor talent evaluation by both organizations.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

In the photo Dimitroff is explaining to Blank why Smitty was the only one to blame.

Addy10
Addy10

@AlwaysReady he's also trying to explain what happened to him draft night and why he has drafted so poorly... "i was so sick and my balls got so big and..."

DawgNole
DawgNole

@AlwaysReady

But it's the incriminating photos that TD has of AB with those goats that enable him to retain his job.

Gman84
Gman84

If we accept the fact that the trade was won because TD, like Cleveland. would have also squandered all those picks, then the conclusion must be that he should be fired immediately, not rewarded for "winning the trade". 


Of course, in Rankin Blank's world incompetence is a sure path to promotion. 

Hell Horsey
Hell Horsey

Is winning a trade supposed to make up for never, ever winning a Superbowl?  That's even more pathetic than MLS division titles supposedly making up for choking in the World Series.  Welcome to Loserville.

ATLAquarius
ATLAquarius

On the draft picks we gave up you're assuming Dimitroff was competent to turn them into something. I think the only thing preventing the 2009 draft from being worse than 2012 is that Willy Mo is still on the roster but we whiffed completely on the 1st round pick in Peria Jerry. I just don't think Dimitroff can evaluate offensive line talent....2008 Sam Baker T 1st rd, 2009 Garrett Reynolds G/T 5th rd, 2010 Mike Johnson G 3rd rd,Joe Hawley C/G 4th rd (big heart but debatable impact), 2012 Peter Konz C 2nd rd, Lamar Holmes T 3rd rd...he's had the chance to replace the entire 2008 lineup of Baker (one of two good years), Blalock, McClure, Dahl, and Clabo that allowed Michael Turner to rush for 1700 yards and Matt Ryan to win offensive rookie of year primarily on the strength of play action. He should be fired and I'm not sure how Blank is getting his head wrapped around keeping him

rockinreel
rockinreel

@ATLAquarius Yes you are right on.  How do you let a good OL get dismantled like that.  I think the days are coming that OL may get the most money or at least a lot more than they do now.  They are responsible for the success of the run AND pass.

gfw
gfw

@ATLAquarius "I'm not sure how Blank is getting his head wrapped around keeping him"

It's a mystery to everyone on this blog.  My own guess is that Blank's head isn't what's involved at all, and that what's going on is something like why John McCain, against all the rational advice he received, chose Sarah Palin for his VP running mate, thereby calling his judgment into serious question, and dooming his campaign.

TheRealJay
TheRealJay

Wow that is a horrible draft for TD.....

jdcigar
jdcigar

Draft picks are only valuable depending on what team they belong to.  Cleveland has proved over and again that they don't know what they are doing and quite honestly neither do the Falcons.  i am glad to have Julio based on his production to date and the potential for the future over who we would have probably picked.  That said, based on the 2012 draft alone, how does Dimitroff have a job?

gfw
gfw

You say we "won" the trade because Cleveland's five picks ended up, taken together, being of less value than Julio.  Isn't the question what five players WE would have taken had we not bundle-traded for Julio, not the five that Cleveland took?  And answering that question involves a lot of speculation. 

I'll just add that in 2011, when Dimitroff gave up his 2011 No. 1 & his 2012 No. 1, he could have had no idea at all what kind of player he would have available to him in the No. 1 slot in 2012.  It was a complete crap-shoot.  We all love Julio, but a team with as many weaknesses as the Falcons had too many needs to give up five draft picks for one player.  Beyond that, the 2012 Konz and Holmes miscalculations should certainly have cost him his job.

SaulK
SaulK

trading away a boatload of draft picks for a wide receiver, when the Oline sucks, the Dline sucks, no good RBs, average LBs???? Funny stuff---absolute comedy at flowery branch!!!

JSSN
JSSN

Thanks for the laugh Jeff Schultz! That is like saying you won a year of free pork lard!

WildWillie32
WildWillie32

I agree with what  everyone said below, in particular TD should have been shown the door when they let Smitty go!!


slydawg
slydawg

Thus team has NO OFFENSIVE LINE, yet we get 20 articles about a WR who has not played in 16 games yet. Not one WR, ones who are actually better than Julio, has impacted a playoff run since Jerry Rice, with the exception of Larry Fitzgerald in 2009 or 2010. Julio dominated so much in 2014, he got 6 touchdowns. WOW, he justold blower away the competition. BTW, AJ Greene is still better and always was.

I like Julio on the Falcons roster, I just wanted to player hater / devil's advocate, for once.... lol.

Earhardnt_Fan
Earhardnt_Fan

How many time I tel U all Dummytroff does nutting but pix drst busts?

Billy2121
Billy2121

And these clowns get paid millions to make these judgement calls...professional sports has and is a joke! 

GeorgeJuarez
GeorgeJuarez

And TD still has a job after making those and many more bad decisions, he should of went out with the trash when they got rid of Smith