On Friday, the team announced that they held a virtual interview with former Texans GM Rick Smith and current Falcons director of scouting Anthony Robinson.
“Because of the nuances of the pandemic this year, how we’re dealing with that, how it affects the league year, how it affects college, a variety of other things, we may be doing things a little bit out of the normal sequence,” Blank said via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’ll look for the most talented people as soon as they’re available.”
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Robinson & Smith’s Background
Robinson, a Florida State Alum, has spent the past 14 seasons with the Falcons and his second as director of Scouting.
Before coming to Atlanta, Robinson worked with BLESTO scouting as a scouting assistant intern from 2007-2008. Dating back before that, Robinson was an undergraduate assistant coach at Florida State University from 2005-07 and also worked as an intern for the Baltimore Ravens player personnel department as an intern in 2006.
As for Smith, he played college football at Purdue before becoming the general manager of the Texans in 2006. He was responsible for all aspects of football operations, salary cap management, and budgeting. A few years later, he was promoted to executive vice president of football operations and GM which is when he oversaw all football-related operations and the organization’s player acquisition process.
Both Robinson and Smith are minority candidates and under the new and improved NFL’s Rooney Rule, teams are expected to interview minorities for executive positions. Falcons president Rich McKay is the chairman of the committee.
Falcons’ GM Candidate List Keeps Growing
Aside from Smith and Robinson, the Falcons have also reportedly been eyeing some others, including ESPN’s Louis Riddick, Saints VP Terry Fontenot, Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes, Las Vegas Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, and current Chicago Bears personnel man Champ Kelly.
Terry Fontenot is in his 16th season with the Saints his sixth as VP and director of scouting. He has been a major key in landing some notable players to stack the defense including linebacker Demario Davis, linebacker Kwon Alexander and defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Trey Hendrickson, and safety Malcolm Jenkins.
Reggie McKenzie played in the NFL before becoming general manager of the Raiders. McKenzie helped land DE Khalil Mack, WR Amari Cooper, and QB Derek Carr. This season he is working with the Miami Dolphins as a senior personnel executive.
Champ Kelly played his pro football career with the Lexington Horseman and stayed as a coach. He eventually made his way to the NFL as a scout for the Broncos. Kelly is now the assistant director of player personnel for the Bears.
Brad Holmes has spent 15 years climbing the ladder to establish himself as a pro scout. Now, he oversees the Rams area scouts and is known to be general manager Les Snead’s most trusted confidant.
Louis Riddick is a current ESPN NFL analyst on Monday Night Football. He also spent two years as a Falcons player and is an ex-personnel director for the Philadephia Eagles and Washington Football Team.