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Atlanta Falcons unlikely to be scared by Randy Gregory's issues

While a positive drug test for marijuana use has cast doubt about Nebraska pass rusher Randy Gregory's draft status, not every team will be scared off by the news.

One, according to NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport, could be the Atlanta Falcons.

"Keep an eye on No. 8, the Atlanta Falcons," Rapoport said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft." "Not only do they need edge rushers, but there's been a little bit of a directive from owner Arthur Blank to take edgier players and not be scared by some of these issues. Dan Quinn, the new head coach coming from Seattle, can handle some of these issues in this culture."

If Atlanta were to take Gregory at No. 8, it could be argued that the failed drug test didn't damage his draft status at all. He was considered a potential option for Atlanta before news of the failed test, although with several elite pass rushers possibly going ahead of Gregory anyway, the No. 8 pick could now be a best-case scenario for him.

As NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah noted: "He doesn't have to convince all 32 teams. He just has to convince one."

The Falcons pass rush was abysmal last year, ranking No. 30 in the NFL with just 22 sacks. The fact that pass rushers are considered a premium asset on draft day -- and with no shortage of teams in need of one this year -- could serve to mitigate whatever damage Gregory has done to his status.

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks addressed the task Gregory faces in convincing NFL clubs that his marijuana use is behind him.

Atlanta could be the club that listens with the most open ears.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*

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