INDIANAPOLIS – Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has been on Twitter a lot lately, and not because he wants to post his thoughts on Olympic hockey.
Teams spend a lot of time and money on investigating draft prospects' backgrounds, but sometimes those players make it easy. Right there, in 140 characters, they'll tell a team all they need to know about their character.
"There were guys I found on Twitter this year that I can’t believe they would post and retweet some of the stuff that they’re saying," Spielman said.
Spielman said the Vikings have done reports on the Twitter feeds of about 60 prospects. Without offering any names, he said eight of them were flagged for questionable things that were written on the social media network.
"Is it immaturity? Why would you tweet that?" Spielman said. "Or is it something, specifically bragging on their, ‘Hey, going out and partying with the guys tonight,’ and admitting they just took a drug. It’s amazing the things you can find on social media."
Does it knock a player off his draft board when he sees something incriminating on Twitter? Not necessarily, but they're going to check into it.
"I’m sure as heck going to ask them about it when they come into our interviews," Spielman said.
Teams will continue to investigate players' off-the-field habits before they invest a draft pick and big money into them. In some cases, the players are making that duty much simpler.
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