Atlanta closed its draft by selecting Yale linebacker Foye Oluokun
Through more than a decade as Atlanta Falcons general manager https://www.falconsatljersey.com/jterius-jones-jersey-c-54.html , Thomas Dimitroff has always found a way to make a least one trade during the NFL draft.
Trader Tom kept his record intact Saturday.
For the 11th straight draft, Dimitroff found a willing partner https://www.falconsatljersey.com/jermaine-grace-jersey-c-55.html , dealing Atlanta s two seventh round picks to the Los Angeles Rams for a sixth round selection used on LSU receiver Russell Gage.
Dimitroff said the offer from Rams GM Les Snead, the former Falcons director of pro personnel, fell into our laps ... out of the blue.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who seemed to enjoy Dimitroff s streak remaining intact, joked that he sent Snead a text just to keep the run going.
Without that call from Snead, Dimitroff said his streak very well might have ended.
Honestly, I was kind of in this groove where I was thinking This is it. We re moving on from the trade, he said.
Quinn said it is fun to watch and see Dimitroff complete a draft day deal.
He is like a quarterback you want to see in a two minute situation where he doesn t get all frantic, Quinn said. The clock is running down and he s still talking on the phone. ... It s really in that setting he s at his best.
Dimitroff believed Gage was an important pick for the Falcons, even after the team selected Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the first round. Gage is expected to play a key role on special teams.
Atlanta sought to add depth behind receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu after losing Taylor Gabriel and Andre Roberts.
The Falcons bolstered their offensive depth by selecting running back Ito Smith from Southern Mississippi in the fourth round before adding Gage in the sixth round.
Atlanta closed its draft by selecting Yale linebacker Foye Oluokun later in the sixth round. Oluokun was a hybrid linebacker/safety at Yale and could get a shot at other positions, according to Quinn.
Smith, a fourth rounder, is expected to back up Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. The Falcons did not re sign Terron Ward, the No. 3 running back in 2017.
Atlanta focused on defense on Friday s second day of the draft, selecting Colorado cornerback Isaiah Oliver in the second round and South Florida defensive tackle Deadrin Senat in the third round.
LSU REDUX LSU s draft connection to the Falcons remains strong. Gage gives the Falcons an LSU pick in the draft for four straight years, following linebackers Duke Riley 2017 and Deion Jones 2016 and cornerback Jalen Collins in 2015. Dimitroff said the LSU connection is just a coincidence.
BALANCED DRAFT The Falcons had three offensive players and three defensive players among their six picks. Ridley was the first offensive player taken in the first round by Atlanta in Quinn s four drafts.
The Falcons selected defensive players with their first two picks in each of the last three drafts with Quinn Keanu Neal Jersey, the former Seattle defensive coordinator. The last three first round picks — defensive end Vic Beasley Jr., safety Keanu Neal and end Takkarist McKinley — have helped Quinn reshape the defense. Linebacker Deion Jones, a second round pick in 2016, has played a key role as well.
JUDGE ITO LOOKALIKE Smith s real first name is Romarious. So why is he called Ito? The answer provides a surprising connection to O.J. Simpson.
Nobody has said the undersized Smith 5 9, 195 runs like the Juice, but a family member said Smith as a baby looked like the judge at Simpson s famous trial — Lance Ito. Smith, from Mobile, Alabama https://www.falconsatljersey.com/laroy-reynolds-jersey-c-53.html , was born on Sept. 11, 1995 — when the Simpson murder case captivated the nation.
STILL NEED One priority not filled in the draft is fullback. The Falcons did not re sign 2017 starter Derrick Coleman. The team figures to target a fullback among undrafted free agents.