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Thursday, April 19, 2012
Falcons sticking in 'reality-check area'

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

His team is without a first-round pick, but Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said that really hasn’t changed how the organization has geared up for next week’s NFL draft.

The Falcons don’t pick until the second round (No. 55 overall). They traded away their first-round pick last year to move up in the 2011 draft and land wide receiver Julio Jones.

“We’ve still done our homework on all the players in this draft, like we always do,’’ Dimitroff said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. “We all have seen situations in the past where players have fallen that people weren’t expecting to fall. We have to be prepared for any scenario.’’

But Dimitroff did admit he’s not counting on any of the draft’s high-profile players falling all the way to where Atlanta picks.

“Since we took Julio, we’ve focused in on the second round,’’ Dimitroff said. “We can dream about players falling, but we’re trying to stick in the reality-check area. We feel we’ve done a good job of really focusing in on the guys that actually will be available to us and we feel like there should be some good options available to us. You do still have to pay attention to the rest of the draft. We’ve always gone into a draft prepared for a bunch of scenarios with the first pick. But it’s a lot different this time because we’re going in with 54 picks ahead of us and that creates a lot more scenarios than we’ve faced in the past. But we’re confident that we’re ready for any scenario.’’