The Falcons are in the final stages of rating and stacking players on their board for the NFL draft, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia.
Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who has been involved domestic violence case, is not on the team’s draft board, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution learned.
This was no random decision. The Falcons, even though they drafted cornerback Jalen Collins who had failed several marijuana tests at LSU, heavily scout the character of players they’re interested in drafting.
“That doesn’t just come from a head coach and general manger,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “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.”
The Falcons, who are seeking to improve their pass rush, solidify the right guard position and improve the team speed, have the 31st pick in the first round.
They hold five other picks, but don’t have a sixth-round pick, which went to Tennessee in the 2015 Andy Levitre trade.
While Mixon’s case has been highly publicized, some players’ backgrounds may not reveal red flags.
“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.”
Since the 2007 federal dogfighting case involving quarterback Michael Vick, the Falcons have increased background checks from scouts and former law enforcement officials.
Joe Mixon off Falcons' draft board
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Apr 24