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.
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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