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Falcons GM on draft picks: We aren't looking for angels

In a pivotal draft that could help the franchise ease its Super Bowl hangover, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is carefully constructing his board to avoid major character flaws flagged by ownership. But that doesn't mean he's picking all choir boys, either.

"Of course, I've said this time and again: We aren't looking for angels," Dimitroff said, via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "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."

The AJC uses this story to break a little bit of news: Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is off their draft board (not necessarily a bold move considering Atlanta's current running back depth chart).

"That doesn't just come from a head coach and general manger," Dimitroff said about the team's approach in general to how it evaluates a player's character. "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."

As we approach the draft, which takes place in Philadelphia from Thursday through Saturday, teams are finalizing any minor tweaks to their draft boards but the emotional factor always lurks in the background. The Laremy Tunsil situation represented the most significant character evaluation on the fly in recent NFL draft history, showing that perception matters. The best general managers, though, do not allow themselves to be swayed whatever way the wind is blowing. Like Dimitroff, many general managers establish an iron-clad set of expectations for prospects before the first scouting reports are even filed.

Watch the NFL Draft LIVE on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network

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