Falcons assistant GM Scott Pioli has drafted a failed drug tester

FILE: Former Nebraska standout defensive end Randy Gregory at the Fox Sports South studios recently. Look for Gregory's weekly diary leading up to the NFL Draft, which is set for April 30 to May 2. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

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FILE: Former Nebraska standout defensive end Randy Gregory at the Fox Sports South studios recently. Look for Gregory's weekly diary leading up to the NFL Draft, which is set for April 30 to May 2. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli has a bigger role in the team’s draft preparation this season.

While serving as Kansas City’s general manager, Pioli drafted former Georgia player Justin Houston, who had failed a drug test at the combine, in the third round on the 2011 draft. Houston has turned into an All-Pro player.

The Falcons may be faced with an opportunity to draft former Nebraska standout Randy Gregory, who recently flunked a drug test at the 2015 scouting combine.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff wouldn’t say that the team would not consider Gregory with the eighth pick in an interview on 680 The Fan on Friday.

“I think for most general managers, if not all, anytime someone breaks the law, it’s cause for concern,” Dimitroff said. “I think it’s cause for more research and trying to figure out at so many levels what the player is about. It comes down to much of the discussion about judgment.”

Gregory is considered one of the top pass rushers in the draft. The Falcons are seeking to improve their pass rush this defense.

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Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and assistant general manager Scott Pioli were spotted together on the sidelines evaluating players during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Atlanta. It's not clear if Pioli, who has a larger role in the draft, will be made available to the local media leading up to the draft. (Curtis Compton/CCompton@ajc.com)

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and assistant general manager Scott Pioli were spotted together on the sidelines evaluating players during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Atlanta. It's not clear if Pioli, who has a larger role in the draft, will be made available to the local media leading up to the draft. (Curtis Compton/CCompton@ajc.com)

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

caption arrowCaption
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and assistant general manager Scott Pioli were spotted together on the sidelines evaluating players during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Atlanta. It's not clear if Pioli, who has a larger role in the draft, will be made available to the local media leading up to the draft. (Curtis Compton/CCompton@ajc.com)

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Gregory admitted to NFL Media that he tested positive for marijuana at the combine in February.

“I blame myself,” Gregory said. “And I know it sounds cliché, but there’s really no one else I can blame.”

The Falcons plan to do more research on Gregory, who’s been training in Duluth.

“We all know that we can discuss at so many levels in our own worlds about the judgment of making decisions,” Dimitroff said. “Going into the combine, making certain decisions, has always been something that we’ve looked at a management, as team builders. Whether if it’s (marijuana) or it could be the way that someone approaches interviews or someone getting into a fight or altercation before the combine.

“We all like to think that the people are going to walk a straight line before they get to their interview and it doesn’t always happen.”

Dimitroff didn’t sound like Gregory would get an automatic “black” dot and be removed from the team’s draft board.

“Usually, a situation like this warrant a lot of extra work,” Dimitroff said. “We have to drill down and try to figure out exactly what a player is about.”

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Falcons to keep character filter on draft picks

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Falcons plan to extend WR Julio Jones contract

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Falcons' roster gutting could have big names (i.e. Steven Jackson)

Cutting the Falcons roster -- Should they stay or should they go?

COMBINE STORIES

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Todd Gurley intriguing prospect to NFL teams

Explore Alabama stars Cooper, Collins headed for first round

Chris Conley puts on a dazzling show at the combine

Waller, Smelter out to prove NFL standing at the combine

VIDEO DEPARTMENT

Watch: D. Led -- Falcons news at the combine

Watch: NFL Network's Mike Mayock at the combine

Explore Watch: Jameis Winston to throw at the combine

Watch: Todd Gurley has interviews set up with 24 NFL teams

Watch: Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff at the combine

Watch: Falcons coach Dan Quinn at the combine

Watch: Rams GM Les Snead on the pass-rush talent at the combine

FALCONS COMBINE MEETINGS

Oregon DE Arik Armstead talked scheme with the Falcons

Falcons met with Alabama quarterback Blake Sims

Falcons to meet with Florida DE Dante Fowler Jr.

Falcons met with Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson

Falcons met with Alabama safety Landon Collins

PHOTO GALLERIES

Photographs from the 2015 NFL scouting combine

Photos of players with Georgia ties at the scouting combine

Photos of NFL pass rusher set to enter free agency

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