Offensive Linemen Drafted Pre Pioli
On the offensive side of the ball, after drafting star quarterback Matt Ryan in 2008, Thomas Dimitroff traded back into round one and selected offensive tackle Sam Baker. Baker struggled to protect Matt Ryan and missed 37 games in seven seasons due to injury. After being let go in 2014, Baker never caught on with another club and is out of the NFL. Are you seeing a pattern here? Mike Johnson a guard out Alabama was selected in round three of the 2010 NFL draft. He was a colossal disaster and started only one game for Atlanta in four seasons. Again he is another former Falcons draft pick that is out of the league.
The worse draft that Thomas Dimitroff oversaw during his Atlanta Falcons tenure was in 2012. The team had no first round pick, after using it in the trade to obtain future hall of fame player Julio Jones. Dimitroff proceeded to select center Peter Konz in round two. The team gave him every opportunity to be the starter, as he started 25 games during his first two years in Atlanta. Konz could not get the job done, and was often overwhelmed at the point of attack by stronger defensive linemen. He lost his starting job in 2014 and was let go after the season. Konz is yet another Dimitroff draft pick that never caught on with another ball club. The story is similar for Southern Miss offensive tackle Lamar Holmes, who was a round three selection in that same draft. After not playing much in his rookie year, Holmes started 19 combined games in 2014 and 2015, before the team realized that he did not have what it took to be an NFL starter. Like Konz, Holmes never saw NFL action after his three-year stint in Atlanta ended.
The track record is definitely bad, for Dimitroff drafting linemen and linebackers prior to 2014. The thing is, I have only given you the picks from the first three rounds. That’s not even mentioning baffling picks, like the drafting of fullback Bradie Ewing in round five of the 2012 draft. Bradie Ewing ladies and gentlemen! Seriously? Take a moment to let that thought sink in. Facts are, not one single front seven defender or offensive lineman drafted from 2008 – 2013 made a huge impact for the team.