When NFL teams are trying to decide which college prospect to invest millions in, they look at everything. From their 40 time, to their career stats, to their history off of the field--they examine it all with a fine-toothed comb.

When NFL teams are trying to decide which college prospect to invest millions in, they look at everything. From their 40 time, to their career stats, to their history off of the field--they examine it all with a fine-toothed comb.

Unfortunately, sometimes they become "big brother." Sometimes, they look too deep. Sometimes, they overstep their boundaries.

That was what happened last week when former Ohio State cornerback and projected first-round pick Eli Apple was interviewed by Atlanta Falcons personnel.

You would think the Falcons would be interested in his dedication to the game, his style of play or his knowledge of scheme. No, they were interested in his sexual orientation.

In an interview with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, Apple said that a member of the Atlanta coaching staff asked him point blank, "Do you like men?" Not only did he ask it without any trepidation, it was one of the first inquiries he made upon meeting Apple.

Apple admitted that it weirded him out, but he tried his best to play it off, saying, "I guess he was joking, but they ask most of these questions to see how you're going to react."

After the expected public backlash, the Falcons were forced to rush into damage control. Second-year head coach Dan Quinn had to make a statement.

Quinn said, "I am really disappointed in the question asked by one of our coaches. I have spoken with the coach that interviewed Eli Apple and explained to him how inappropriate and unprofessional this was.

"I have reiterated this to the entire coaching staff, and I want to apologize to Eli for this even coming up. This is not what the Atlanta Falcons are about, and it is not how we are going to conduct ourselves."

This was a huge booboo for the Falcons.

When they talk to these prospects at and following the NFL Scouting Combine, it is basically considered a job interview. They should know that in job interviews, it is illegal to ask questions about: age, race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status and sexual orientation.

So, not only was asking Apple that question obtrusive to him, technically, it was against the law.

I realize that there is always a method to the madness behind the flurry of questions these guys ask the players. Maybe they asked if Apple was gay so they could get out in front of the certain media circus that would follow him if he ever came out.

Still, whatever the reasoning behind it, you just can't ask that question. It falls under the category of "none of your business." They're really lucky Apple has taken it all with a grain of salt.

But this isn't the first time an organization went across the line with pre-draft questioning. The two cases that come to my mind the quickest involve Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

As Bryant prepared himself for the 2010 draft, he was asked by a team if his mother was ever a prostitute. That's the kind of question that can end with you get smacked, and justifiably so. I don't care what you've heard from other people, that's a question you should never ever ask someone.

A year prior to that, Stafford was prepping himself to be the top pick in the draft. He was once asked about his mom's alcoholism. Once again, that's something that isn't the business of any NFL coach or GM.

Look, I understand why these guys feel the need to ask so many questions. They want to know everything there is to know about these kids because they don't make to end up with buyer's remorse.

They're making a huge investment. They're paying these kids 20, 21, 22 years old millions of dollars, and they want to make absolute certain that money isn't wasted on someone that will self-destruct off of the field. I get it.

However, these guys aren't just investments. They're also human beings. If it's a question that you wouldn't feel right asking some job applicant in an interview for a bank teller position, then you shouldn't ask these players either.

If you want to know about their off-the-field habits, do your homework. Ask their former coaches, ask their friends or former teammates. Do a thorough background check.

Analyze their combine results, examine their measurables, break down their game film. By all means, do it all. Just don't ask them about their sexual orientation, or their mothers, because that's just none of your business.