NBC SPORTS - The Falcons are willing to take chances on certain players, who have certain character questions.
But they won’t be drafting Joe Mixon this week, in what sounds like a directive from far above the scouting level.
According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Oklahoma running back who was captured on video punching a woman in the face is not on the Falcons draft board at all.
And though he may have been responding to an unrelated question when he said the following, Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff made it clear where such decisions come from.
“That doesn’t just come from a head coach and General Manger,” Dimitroff said in general of such decisions about players with red flags. “Believe me, that comes from higher than us for sure. [Owner Arthur] Blank is very direct about it.
“I think that’s important for this organization and this community to know that.”
Dimitroff understands that not every prospect is going to be clean. For instance, last year’s second-round pick (cornerback Jalen Collins) failed multiple drug tests in college.
“You are never going to be 100 percent correct,” Dimitroff said. “Sometimes, things fall through the cracks, but we do all we can to make sure we are [making good] acquisitions. Again, they are not all angelic souls. I get that. . . .
“We really are proud of the type of people we bring in here. We think it’s important. Of course, I’ve said this time and again: We aren’t looking for angels. We are looking for guys who are real. We are looking for guys who ultimately will fit into the brotherhood. . . . We are particular about looking at the character situation and how they fit. It’s a big thing, of course.”
With Mixon, it might have been as simple as watching one video. But one particular person apparently saw it, and he won’t be going to Atlanta.