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Examining Atlanta Falcons' Offseason and Key Preseason Positional Battles

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Examining Atlanta Falcons' Offseason and Key Preseason Positional Battles
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons made some big changes this offseason, but if general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s recent history of success is any indication, there’s no reason to expect those changes to be anything but positive for the future of the organization.

Dimitroff joined the Falcons in 2008 after a successful career in New England as a scout under Bill Belichick’s tutelage, eventually assuming the director of college scouting role for the Patriots. His success resounded, and the Falcons pulled the trigger on bringing him aboard to right the ship.

Dimitroff has completely transformed the organization since taking the reins in 2008, improving both the culture of the franchise and the on-field talent that has propelled the Falcons to the forefront of the NFC. With another successful offseason under his belt, Atlanta is in no danger of fading from the spotlight in 2013.

But the offseason didn’t start off on an especially promising note. Dimitroff’s first major moves saw the departures of Michael Turner, Dunta Robinson and John Abraham, all of whom played major roles in the team’s recent success.

Tight against the cap with long-term sustainability in mind, the Falcons chose to cut all three veterans, eventually replacing them with the likes of Steven Jackson, Osi Umenyiora and 2013 draft choices Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.

So many NFL general managers get caught up in shortsighted strategies for creating success. Dimitroff, on the other hand, always seems to have a winning blueprint for sustainable success. Those moves highlighted that fact.

Atlanta also allowed cornerback Brent Grimes to walk in free agency, but Dimitroff went to work in the draft to shore up the position.

In what was perhaps his least eventful draft since joining the team in 2008, Dimitroff selected a cornerback with each of his first two selections, trading up to No. 22 in the first round to acquire Trufant. He doubled up in the second round with Alford, giving the Falcons two potential starters to replace Grimes and Robinson.

We’ll take a closer look at the cornerback position in the following slideshow, as well as the rest of the Falcons’ 2013 draft class and other positions to watch as the 2013 season draws near. Read on.

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