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Report: Michael Vick still looms large over Atlanta Falcons' pre-draft scouting

Fact: Shane Ray thinks Peter, Paul and Mary just like to sing about mythical reptiles

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons selected Vic Beasley with the 8th pick in the 2015 NFL draft. 14 years earlier, with the first overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft, they selected Michael Vick. (Do the math, Beasley was 8 years old at the time.)

So what do the two men have in common? It's not an affinity for Chipotle guacamole. And it's certainly not their popularity among the Falcons fanbase. If you believe Denver Broncos rookie Shane Ray, Vick's shenanigans necessitated the Falcons' selection of Beasley.

"A lot of people didn't believe [my story]," Ray said, talking of those in the Falcons front office ... Ray was asked to repeat the story to multiple Falcons officials, head coach, GM, owner and on, and on ... What the Falcons told Ray on the day before the draft is, well, interesting to say the least. "They were like, ‘You're still our guy, it's just the GM'," Ray explained. "I couldn't believe he said this, he was like, ‘The GM (Thomas Dimitroff), ever since what happened with Michael Vick, we just want to have a clean slate'."

I have no reason to doubt what Ray is saying. It's not that he's particularly credible; put simply, what he's saying just makes sense. So let's assume for a second it's true.

If true, I have two concerns. First, is the front office so jaded by the Vick experience that it will forever make conservative personnel decisions? Second, who in the Falcons front office is throwing Dimitroff under the bus? As to the former question, I can certainly see where the team is coming from. Ray only hurt himself by acting so foolishly immediately preceding the draft. As to the latter question, it doesn't sound like Dimitroff's merry band of scouts are so merry after all. If anything, that explains some of the shake up we've been told to expect this off-season.

Your thoughts?