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SBD/April 29, 2011/Franchises
Lions, Ravens Ignore Character Issues In Selecting Fairley, Smith In First Round
Published April 29, 2011
despite reported character issues
DODGING THE RED FLAGS: The role that character issues play in the Draft was discussed on Thursday’s episode of “Outside The Lines.” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said it is “so critical to these teams these days” to examine a player's character. Schefter: “We're coming off an offseason where there was no free agency and ordinarily, teams would be putting so much time and energy starting March 1 into potential free agents. They really didn't do that this year because of the lockout, so all the attention that they ordinarily would put on the free agents they were able to put in top college prospects. ... These players always are under intense scrutiny, but that scrutiny was ratcheted up even more this year." Former North Carolina DT Marvin Austin, who was suspended his entire senior season due to dealings with an agent, was not drafted Thursday despite having "first round talent," and Schefter noted one team "told me flat-out they've taken him off their board due to concerns about his character.” Former Redskins Exec VP/Football Operations Vinny Cerrato said player character “is huge because you win with character.” Cerrato: “If you have a good character team, you can make it through losing streaks, you can make it through travesties in your organization. … You can bring in a guy like Marvin Austin, a questionable character guy, if you have a strong locker" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 4/28).