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Red flags: 2015 NFL Draft prospects with character concerns

Editor's note: In NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein's research for compiling profiles on this year's draft prospects, the subject of character comes up as a red flag for certain players. Here are seven prospects that have had character raised as an issue in Zierlein's discussions with pro and college sources. Full scouting reports by Zierlein are available here.

Frank Clark, DE, Michigan

From Zierlein's report: Has had multiple off-field issues during his time at Michigan and was dismissed from Michigan in November after being arrested on domestic violence charges. ... Clark has mid-round talent, but his arrest and prior indiscretions make it unlikely that teams will be willing to draft him. If he gets everything sorted out, he has a shot at getting into a camp.

Paul Dawson, ILB, TCU

From Zierlein's report: Scouts are very worried about his personal character and say he's not beloved within the program. Questions have been raised about his commitment to the process. ... Evaluators understand that Dawson has been a handful while at TCU and that will turn some teams off to him completely.
Sources Tell Us: "He's an early-round player without any question, but you don't have to dig around very deep or very long to realize that his personal character is going to be a major issue for some teams. My grade will be two rounds later than just the talent grade. It has to be factored in." -- AFC West regional scout
Sources Tell Us: "I'll make sure he stays alive in our building because he's that good." -- NFC national scout

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma

From Zierlein's report: Considered a problem child at Missouri. Suspended twice by Missouri and arrested twice for marijuana-related incidents. Kicked off team at Missouri in April 2014 after details of his alleged role in an alleged burglary were released by Columbia, Mo., police. He allegedly shoved a female student down some stairs during the alleged incident, but no charges were filed. ... It's easy to bet on the traits when a receiver has high football character and is a willing worker, but teams could pass on the traits early in the draft due to his perceived lack of work ethic and overall character.
Sources Tell Us: "I think the consistent problems for Josh Gordon are going to leak over and hurt his draft stock. He couldn't keep himself out of trouble, had no structure growing up and didn't take coaching at Missouri. He's tall and fast and has good hands, but he can't be trusted. Why would you take a guy like that before the third day?" -- NFC director of personnel

A.J. Johnson, ILB, Tennessee

From Zierlein's report: Was suspended by Tennessee near the end of the season after he was alleged to have been involved in the rape of a 19-year-old student and was indicted this week by a grand jury on two counts of aggravated rape. ... Off-the-field issues must be monitored as they could sink his draft stock.

Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

From Zierlein's report: Suspended for one game in 2014 by head coach Chris Petersen for a sideline tantrum that followed personal foul penalty. Was ultimately dismissed from team over multiple run-ins with coaching staff. ... Overly emotional and prone to mental mistakes because of it. Slower than expected to squeeze routes in space. Doesn't take coaching. ... Talented cover cornerback with size, ball skills and the confidence NFL teams are looking for, but lacks the necessary discipline and maturity on the field and in practice.
Sources Tell Us: "I wouldn't take him inside the first two rounds. He's good, but he's not that good that I would be willing to deal with his emotional issues." -- NFC personnel director

Karlos Williams, RB, Florida State

From Zierlein's report: Was investigated by Tallahassee police in domestic battery case, but no charges were filed. Character will be combed over carefully. ... He seemed almost content to lose his job in 2014 and teams will be turning over every rock looking for information on his character. As a one-cut runner with exceptional burst and rare physical traits, Williams could become a very good starter in a zone-based scheme, but his floor is very low based on character and scheme fit.
Sources Tell Us: "Disappointing to see what he became as a runner this year. My grade dropped two full rounds on him and that is before the character stuff. He still has a very high ceiling though and that's in my report." -- NFC director of scouting

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

From Zierlein's report: Off-the-field character and ability to lead on NFL level are his primary obstacles, according to NFL evaluators. ... Winston's football potential is clearer than so-called "system" or "one-read" quarterbacks, but every stone must be overturned in an attempt to piece together a predictive character profile on Winston. Winston's supreme confidence might be considered arrogance by some, but even that trait will be alluring to teams who need to find a franchise quarterback.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.

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