Dimitroff: Falcons don’t regret trading up for WR Jones

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff answered questions Friday about his 2011 draft-day trade

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff addresses questions about his 2010 draft-day deal for Julio Jones. (Gary A. Vasquez/NFL)

INDIANAPOLIS — This is a big offseason for Thomas Dimitroff. With 18 unrestricted free agents to contend with and no picks in the first round of the upcoming draft, the Falcons general manager has his work cut out for him.

Barring any movement up the draft board — something Dimitroff has proven he isn’t afraid to do — the Falcons’ first pick will be at No. 55, the result of last year’s trade with the Browns to move up 21 spots to draft WR Julio Jones.

Dimitroff said he’s “very comfortable” with last year’s trade to acquire Jones, who posted 54 receptions for 959 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games as a rookie.

“We will never look back on our move as overly expensive. It was something we deemed was right for the organization at the right time,” Dimitroff said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “Again, Julio was brought in to our organization not for the here and now only, but for the future of the franchise.”

Added Dimitroff: “I don’t think, in this day and age, you can just sit on your hands and wait for things to always come to you. If you have a desire and you know what you want as an organization, I firmly believe you have to go after it.”

He admitted though that the anticipation of a rookie wage scale helped make the decision to move from the No. 27 pick to No. 6 an easier one, and he expects that to be the case for more teams in the future.

“I believed, knowing that there was going to be an adjustment, that it took an element of risk out of making a 21-point move in the draft,” Dimitroff said. “I do believe going forward that that’s going to effect the movement in the top 10 picks. I can’t speak for myself this year, because obviously we’re not in the first round, but I believe there are a lot of my contemporaries in the business who will consider that as one less element to think about compared to other years.”

— Aron Angel

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