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Dan Quinn's focus turns to draft following Atlanta Falcons' mini-camp
Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn talks with Stephen Williams during Tuesday's mini-camp practice in Flowery Branch. The workout was Quinn's first as head coach. - photo by John Bazemore

Dan Quinn is entering his first NFL draft as Atlanta's coach with a fresh understanding of the talent already present on the Falcons' roster.

The Falcons completed a mini-camp on Wednesday that was allowed because Quinn is a first-year coach. Quinn will assist general manager Thomas Dimitroff the next three days in the draft.

Quinn has the final say on roster decisions. Dimitroff still has the deciding vote on draft picks, but he will have input from the coach.

Quinn said the mini-camp will help him make better suggestions on what areas need to be addressed in the draft.

"There's nothing like a live evaluation with players and teams compared with on tape," Quinn said Wednesday. "For me to be out here with our team, it was really a valuable time for me."

The Falcons have the No. 8 overall pick in Thursday's first round. The team's top needs include pass rusher and running back.

Information Quinn gained from the mini-camp could impact draft decisions, especially later in the draft.

Quinn acknowledged some of his opinions of his current players were swayed by what he saw on the practice fields Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I'm not going to give it away, some of that information," he said before adding the overall appraisal was positive.

"There were some players I didn't really have a lot of tape on to watch, a guy who might have been on the practice squad last year or had been injured," Quinn said. "For me to get a chance to see some of these guys and see them at their best and what they can do, as a coach it makes it that much easier to see how they could be featured in our system.

"Just to get started with the guys, I couldn't be more pleased. ... A lot of it surpassed my expectations."

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