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Holloway: Draft is looming so media weigh in

POSTED: May 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Not that Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff could care less what a bunch of sportswriters, TV personalities and sports radio jocks have to say, but the message was clear at Wednesday’s team-sponsored "Massive Media Mock Draft." If Glenn Dorsey isn’t available at No. 3, trade the pick.

That wasn’t an option when 30 members of the Atlanta-area media, each assigned an NFL team, gathered at the Georgia Dome to simulate Saturday’s NFL draft. So, despite a sweet offer by WGCL’s Gil Tyree, the Falcons got stuck with Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, drawing a smattering of boos from those in attendance.

Tyree, by the way, was representing the Chiefs and was offering the No. 5 overall pick and the No. 15 pick Kansas City just got from the Vikings in the Jared Allen trade in exchange for the Falcons’ No. 3 spot.

Can I just say what a nice guy Gil is?

It certainly isn’t a lock that the Rams will snatch up Dorsey, LSU’s monster in the middle, with the second pick in the draft as the AJC’s Steve Wyche did.

But there’s a strong possibility that they will.

If they do, and a trade can’t be worked out, that leaves the Falcons in bit of a predicament.

Do they take Ryan, who probably wouldn’t be so highly regarded in most years, stick him behind a patchwork offensive line and hope he turns out to be the franchise quarterback of the future?

Considering he threw 19 interceptions last year in an ACC schedule ... umm, let’s see what’s behind door No. 2.

There’s University of Virginia defensive end Chris Long, a solid prospect by all accounts. But the Falcons just took a defensive end with their first pick a year ago and have John Abraham, a bona fide stud, at the other end position.

Anybody else out there?

There’s still Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, regarded by many as the best player in the draft, but considering the Falcons just plopped down a big chunk of cash for Michael Turner, taking McFadden here would be a puzzling choice.

With Jake Long already off the board and under contract with the Dolphins, just about anybody else would have to be considered a reach at No. 3.

So what’s a Falcon fan to do? Close your eyes and pray for a trade? It might not be that dire. Dimitroff confirmed at Monday’s pre-draft press conference that there is at least some interest in the pick.

"Right now there’s nothing concrete at all," Dimitroff said. "We’ve obviously gotten phone calls. I don’t want to mention who they are right now, but there’s definitely been some interest."

As unappetizing as many Falcons fans find him, there are franchises, specifically the Ravens, that would be happy to have Ryan. The question is, do they want him bad enough to make a deal?

With Steve McNair out of the picture, Baltimore needs a QB. (Hey, if they traded up to get Kyle Boller, maybe they’ll trade up to get his second coming.) The only issue is that they have needs at defensive tackle and cornerback and safer picks at those positions should still be available at No. 8. Not to mention the fact that no team has traded to get into the top seven since 2003.

But if the Ravens were so inclined, they’ve got the goods (nine picks in the draft) to move up.

Then again, maybe the Rams will take Chris Long, leave Dorsey for the Falcons, and all this will be rendered moot.

Or, maybe we can get Gil a front office spot somewhere and all of Falcons nation can rest easily.



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