FLOWERY BRANCH – Here are five things we learned from Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn at the pre-draft media summit Thursday.
1. Don’t call us, we’ll call you: The Falcons are not interested in signing former Carolina cornerback Josh Norman. “We are not going in that direction,” Dimitroff said.
2. Three starters?: Falcons owner Arthur Blank recently told ESPN.com that he expects three starters out of the draft. Dimitroff used the term “contributors” and Quinn talked about “competition” being essential to the foundation of his program. The message was that the draft picks will have to earn any starting situation.
3. Trading back: The Falcons and the Rams have just five picks in the draft. Dimitroff said he would consider trading back and noted that there wasn’t much of a difference in the players from the 15th position on back. The Falcons hold the 17th pick in the draft.
4. Hybrid safety/linebackers: Quinn noted that there were more linebackers, who can move to safety in this draft as opposed to safeties who can move to linebacker like St. Louis did with Mark Barron and Arizona with Deone Bucannon.
5. Local UGA and Georgia Tech player: The Falcons noted that putting the best product on the field is more important than drafting local players from Georgia and Georgia Tech. Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd is set to visit the Falcons on Saturday. “There is some very good local talent,” Dimitroff said. “There is some fantastic talent in the Southeast and in Georgia in particular. We continue to look at that. In the past, we’ve passed on some people from these schools, but we’re very aware of what’s out there and what we think is the right fit for us. We’ll continue to do that this, but it’s not to put more people in the seats.”
OTHER TIDBITS: Quinn said they he's received 100 percent participation in the "voluntary" offseason program. . . .The Falcons are close to using all of their 30 pre-draft visits. . . . Quinn has called defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who was recently cut by the Patriots. The former first-round pick in 2014 played for Quinn at Florida. "He is a fantastic competitor," Quinn said. "Honestly, a guy I have great history with. we've talked since he's been released. We'll kind of leave it there. There's nothing to report today. He's something that I think the world of."
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