The philosophy is the same, but the teams are far different.
Dimitroff spent the last five years as the Patriots director of college scouting before he was named Atlantas general manager. It was relatively easy to focus on specific needs when scouting for the talent-rich Patriots.
Prioritizing draft needs for Atlanta is more challenging.
The Falcons began releasing and trading such veterans as Rod Coleman, Warrick Dunn, Alge Crumpler and DeAngelo Hall immediately after a tumultuous 4-12 season. More veterans could be cut after the draft.
Atlantas draft needs are widespread. It is far easier to pinpoint the areas make that the one area that wont need help when Dimitroff has the No. 3 overall pick and four selections in the first two rounds today.
A safe response would be placekicker, Dimitroff said, referring to the teams signing of free-agent veteran Jason Elam.
As if to affirm the point, the Falcons signed another kicker, Kevin Lovell, on Friday.
So from the narrow foundation of feeling good about his kicker, Dimitroff must make his first key decision early Saturday as he considers his options for the third pick in the draft.
Dimitroff and new coach Mike Smith have said the Falcons will draft a quarterback as the franchise continues to move past the Michael Vick era.
The question for Dimitroff: Is any quarterback in this draft, including Boston Colleges Matt Ryan, worthy of being the third overall pick? Should the Falcons instead invest in a foundation-type player for their offensive or defensive line?
Dimitroffs decision could greatly impact the rest of the first round.
Miami, which has the first pick, already has signed offensive tackle Jake Long.
The St. Louis Rams may take Virginia defensive end Chris Long with the No. 2 pick, which would leave LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey as Atlantas probable choice. But if the Rams pick Dorsey, the Falcons might strongly consider Ryan.
Dimitroff hasnt tipped his hand, but his New England background could prove instructive. The Patriots found superstar Tom Brady in the sixth round in 2000, and thats the obvious reason Dimitroff has called himself a quarterback snob.
The Falcons dont have to look far to be reminded of the dangers of picking a quarterback so high in the draft. One of the three starters for Atlanta last season, Joey Harrington, was the No. 3 pick for Detroit in 2002.
The teams other returning quarterbacks are Chris Redman, who revived his career to finish last season as the starter, and D.J. Shockley, who has never played in a regular-season game.
Other needs include offensive line, cornerback, tight end and receiver.
The Falcons were devastated by the loss of Vick, now serving 23 months after entering a guilty plea on dogfighting charges. Dimitroff said he will not gamble on a players character.
Character is a big thing for us, he said. It always has been. Its something that was sort of drilled in my head at New England and I feel strongly about. Going forward, were very particular about the type of player we have in here.