Lions plan to interview former Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff 

The Detroit Lions' interview pool for their open general manager position continues to widen.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Thursday that Detroit plans to interview former Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff next week, per sources informed of the situation.

Dimitroff is the third known outside candidate on Detroit's docket. The club already spoke with ESPN analyst Louis Riddick on Wednesday and will interview ex-Houston GM Rick Smith next week. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Lions will also interview former Chiefs GM and Dimitroff assistant Scott Pioli, who's currently an analyst for NFL Network. They interviewed a trio of internal candidates last week.

The 54-year-old Dimitroff led Atlanta from 2008 until his dismissal earlier this year. Dimitroff was a two-time NFL Executive of the Year award winner with the Falcons.

Dimitroff's first full-time NFL gig came as a Lions area scout in 1994. From there, he moved to Cleveland as a college scout from 1998-2001. Dimitroff then traveled to New England, where he rose from a national scout to director of college scouting (2003-2007), helping the Patriots win two Super Bowls.

In his 13 years in Atlanta, Dimitroff proved to be a fearless draft-day manipulator with a keen eye for talent. Famously, Dimitroff engineered a trade from No. 27 overall to the sixth pick in the 2011 draft to snag Julio Jones.

Dimitroff helped the Falcons to Super Bowl LI and compiled a 113-92 record in Atlanta.

As a veteran GM, Dimitroff could fill new Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp's expressed desire to find experienced leaders in her first big hires in charge in Detroit.

With the current interviews scheduled, Hamp is smartly casting a wide net in her search.

Detroit must wait until after the regular season to interview any candidates currently under contract with one of the other 31 clubs.

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