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Falcons GM Dimitroff says WR Jones not last missing piece

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted May 01, 2011 @ 5:14 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

There were great costs attached to the Falcons' bold decision to move up in first round to draft WR Julio Jones. Some perceived it as a sign that the team believed it was the only piece it lacked. GM Thomas Dimitroff is making it clear, however — it will take more than the addition of Jones for the Falcons to go from a perennial playoff contender to a champion.

"I've been outspoken about the fact that myself, Mike Smith and the organization does not believe that (Jones) is the one piece to get to anywhere in particular," Dimitroff told PFW. "This is about a player that we truly believe adds a very good element of explosive playmaking ability (to our offense)."

The Falcons traded five picks — their first-, second- and fourth-round picks this year as well as their first- and fourth-round picks in 2012 — to the Browns to move up 21 spots and select Jones, PFW's second-highest ranked receiver and fifth-highest ranked player in the draft, sixth overall.

"Though the compensation was significant, we felt it was in the best interest of the organization and Matt Ryan and our progressing offense that we make a bold and aggressive move to go up and get another playmaker that would complement Roddy White and the rest of our receiver corps," Dimitroff said.

PFW asked Dimitroff why he was so bold and willing to sacrifice so much for a player that he didn't view as the one piece needed to get Atlanta over the hump.

"Because I truly don't believe any one player can make or break a team," he said. "We all have to come together. Everything has to be in the proper alignment for us to be an upper-tier championship-caliber team."

Dimitroff said this wasn't the most difficult decision he has made as a general manager — picking Ryan over Glenn Dorsey third overall in '08 is still tops — but he did spend a month and a half considering trading up for Jones.

"I think the people that truly know me as an individual know that I'm not conservative in my approach, yet I am very particular and calculated when I do make my decisions," he said. "I want to stress that a lot has gone into this decision. It was not a flippant off-the-cuff decision initiated by the Draft Day fury at all."

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