With the NFL draft just two days away, an unusual concern is reportedly cropping up among NFL teams.
According to ESPN’s Todd McShay, teams are increasingly concerned about the “character or durability” of some of the top prospects in the draft.
That feeling may be reinforced by the news that Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley, a projected first-round pick, was accused of sexual assault Monday night in Cleveland, according to a TMZ report.
McShay also said Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley was charged with battery after a woman told police he had punched her, and both Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers and Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster tested positive for diluted urine samples at the combine.
McShay also reports that teams are concerned about the people Florida State running back Dalvin Cook surrounds himself with off the field.
“Maybe it’s recency bias, but it feels like this draft has more top players with character or durability issues than any other I can remember. … More of my conversations than in other years seem to be centered around teams searching for the cleanest players in the draft.”
In the NFL, off-field concerns can cause a player’s draft stock to plummet. Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil was considered a top pick in last year’s draft, but he tumbled to 13th after a video of him smoking from a gas-mask bong was leaked the night of the draft.
These concerns can vary by team, but a front office worrying about a player’s character can cause a major shake-up in the draft.