Yes the Weems & Grimes were already here; but these are the guys you wanted to see developed who weren't doing anything; that should include Snelling too.....Doesn't Smith get some credit for coaching them up???
Yes, and I'm not saying that the Falcons have done a poor job. THey took guys like Weems, Dahl, and Grimes who did nothing besides sit on the p-squad with previous regimes and now they are/were key contributors with our team. They deserve plenty of credit for getting those players to become better players, but where is the next generation of these players? That's what concerns me.
Michael Palmer? Andrew Jackson? John Parker Wilson? Jose Valdez? Maybe. We will see, but I'm not as hopeful given our recent history with developing those guys.
Here's GB's draft history. I completely fail to see how they've been that amazing. They drafted well on D 2 years ago. Other than that, meh.
A big part of the reason for the Packers success is because their first and second round picks in recent years have been homeruns. While the Falcons have hit one with Matt Ryan, they have yet to hit one with any of their other top picks. That's not to say that Moore, Spoon, Lofton, are bums by any means, just that none of them are Top 10 players at their respective positions like some of the Packers picks: Aaron Rodgers, Nick Collins, Greg Jennings, Clay Matthews, etc.
But let's throw 1st & 2nd round picks out the window...
Since 2005, that's when Ted Thompson returned to the Packers after 5 years in Seattle. Let's look at their 3rd thru 7th round picks...
3rd/2008 - TE Jermichael Finley - Considered by many a Top 5 TE.
4th/2008 - OG Josh Sitton - Considered a Top 10 guard.
3rd/2007 - WR James Jones - Certainly was a major contributor, producing on a level comparable to a solid No. 2 last year.
6th/2007 - LB Desmond Bishop - So good last year that they parted ways with Nick Barnett, as many felt he was even better.
3rd/2006 - OG Jason Spitz - A decent starter for a few years that is now in Jacksonville.
6th/2006 - DT Johnny Jolly - An effective starter before off-field issues pushed him aside. But certainly better player for them than Peters has been to date for us.
4th/2005 - LB Brady Poppinga - A decent starter on par with say a Stephen Nicholas for us.
Let's go back further, because part of it is not just what they've done in the past few years but it dates back well into the Ron Wolf regime as well...
7th/2004 - OC Scott Wells - Basically their Todd McClure
5th/2002 - DE Aaron Kampman - Do I need to explain this one?
6th/2001 - TE David Martin - Contributed as a No. 2 TE for many years, comparable to what Peelle did the past 3 years
4th/2000 - LB Na'il Diggs - A good starter for them for a number of years.
5th/2000 - DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila - Do I need to explain this one?
7th/2000 - OT Mark Tauscher - For a big chunk of his career was considered a Top 5 RT.
3rd/1999 - CB Mike McKenzie - Most remember him with the Saints but forget he gave GB 5 or so good years as a starter
7th/1999 - WR Donald Driver - Do I need to explain this one?
Still not convinced? SHould I bring up the undrafted talent that the Packers have mined over the years?
Vonta Leach, Colin Cole, and Paris Lenon are all undrafted FAs that the Packers originally picked up and are now starters elsewhere in the league.
Which doesn't include the guys they've managed to hold onto like Cullen Jenkins, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Ryan Grant, John Kuhn, and Atari Bigby.
3 of those guys are considered Top 10-15 at their respective positions, making up that 20% that I mentioned earlier that aren't 1st/2nd round picks.
I want to see the Falcons do better with their 1st/2nd round picks, do better with their 3rd thru 7th round picks, and do a better job mining the talent of the undrafted market to stumble upon these guys that go onto have starting careers.
I don't expect miracles to happen or perfection. Even a team like the Packers who have done a really good job still have their share of misses. And I realize that relatively speaking we are early in TD's tenure. I went back a decade in the Packers draft history, and that's only being compared to 3-4 years from TD.
In the future, we may draft/develop on that level that the Packers have done recently.
Are you serious? This franchise has been one of the most poorly run from top to bottom in NFL history, and TD & Co. have turned it completely around in 3 short years. If all things continue on this trend, you are witnessing what will be one of the greatest turnarounds of a franchise in all of sport.
I think the 90s Bucs and 00 Colts would have something to say about that. A lot of teams go through bad times. Did the Steelers turnaround in the Cowher era less of an accomplishment simply because they won in the 70s? They were just as bad a team as we were in the 80s for the most part.
So are you suggesting that because the Falcons drafted Aundray Bruce 20 years ago, it makes TD's selections better?
People like to pretend that TD started from scratch in '08. He did not. The cupboard definitely wasn't full, but let's not act like it was completely bare either. Many of the players that are considered to be our best today, he never had to add. Roddy White, Jonathan Babineaux, John Abraham were already on the team. So was Brent Grimes, Tyson Clabo, etc. He's added some key pieces (e.g. Matt Ryan), but the majority of them have been FAs like Turner, Gonzo, Robinson, and Ray Edwards, rather than via the draft. NOw, it's early and we're not sure what Spoon, Moore, Jerry, Jones, Dent, Mike Johnson, etc. are going to become. It's certainly possible if not probable in a few cases that in a few years we'll be talking about them in the same light as some of those Packers picks.
I still think Dimitroff is a very good GM, probably one of the 5-10 best in the league today. But unless he hits homeruns with those 2nd and 3rd round picks next year, he's going to be very hard-pressed to upgrade the talent level of this roster in the next 2 years. And once more, he's going to probably continue to rely heavily on free agency. Free Agency does not build sustainable long-term success because the vast majority of FAs will only give you 2-3 good years. Because their contracts tend to go up over time, but their play tends to go down over that same time because for the most part you're signing 27-29 year olds. This is epitomized by Michael Turner. Now Turner is still a productive starter for this team, but unless he puts up numbers comparable to what he was at in '08 or '09, then he's not going to be worth the $$$ we pay him going forward. We may be able to find 80% the player he is going forward for 10-20% of the price.