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Paul Dawson says “character concerns” are “hurtful”


Former TCU linebacker Paul Dawson, regarded by NFL Media’s Mike Mayock as the top player at his position entering the draft, has written a draft diary for USA Today. In the entry, Dawson addresses the vague notion, as separately perpetrated by Lance Zierlein of NFL Media, that Paul Dawson has character concerns.

“Scouts are very worried about his personal character and say he’s not beloved within the program,” Zierlein writes in his profile of Dawson. “Questions have been raised about his commitment to the process.”

“Now I’m reading that I’ve got ‘character concerns,’” Dawson wrote. “My sophomore year when I got there, I failed one drug test for Adderall, and I got a prescription for it a couple months later. I never failed another drug test, never got in any trouble, never suspended. I was tardy a lot. I’d probably be a couple minutes late to that meeting or a weight-room session. But everybody loved me. I got along with everybody -- all the coaches, all the offensive coaches. . . . When I see stuff like my team doesn’t like me, that’s hurtful. . . . When I have my interviews at the combine, they’ll see what type of person I am.”

With the Scouting Combine coming next week, it’s the time of year for negative information to emerge about prospects. The general rule of thumb is that some scouts will be tempted to push negative information about guys they like, in the hopes that the player will slide down the board and be available when that scout’s team is on the clock. Any negative information published about prospects by anonymous scouts needs to be considered through that lens, because without names being attached it’s impossible to know which scouts are telling the truth -- and which scouts are pushing an agenda aimed at getting the guys they want during the draft.

Regardless, the scouts know what they know about Dawson and the rest of the top prospects. They’ll learn a lot more next week, and beyond.

One thing they learned from Dawson’s diary is that he was “tardy a lot” at TCU, and that he admits it.