I can’t quite figure out what I’d like to say about the NFL Draft. Yes, I’ll be watching it tonight and tweeting about it as well. But this year, more than any I can remember just has a ton of, let’s call them, “intricacies” that I’m having a hard time dealing with.
The number one pick will almost certainly be a man who has what can graciously be called an insanely checkered past and no real indication that his behavior will improve with the millions of dollars that will be headed his way. With all of the recent image concerns the NFL has been dealing with it amazes me that Jameis Winston could still be a day 2 pick, much less first overall.
We see smaller transgressions like Shane Ray and his recent possession issue. This of course gives scouts the option of saying, “Well the turf toe injury was one thing but when you combine it with this…” as if the two events have any sort of correlation.
We can also turn our attention to whatever seems to be going on with La’el Collins. It’s certainly concerning that we haven’t heard anything to the effect of, “he’s assisting the investigation in any way he can.” I’ll reserve judgement on the rest of this until more information comes out.
And there’s one story that bothers me in a different way. Randy Gregory is plummeting down draft boards. He’s being labeled as someone who might not have the mental toughness to go through the rigors of an NFL season. Where are they getting this from? Well it’s believed that Gregory suffers from some sort of anxiety issue.
We’ve seen athletes with special concerns in the past. The most recent one I can remember is Royce White of the NBA. Gregory is being punished for having something other than a cloudy past. Multi-Million dollar organizations are completely writing off a talented player because it might mean putting in just a small amount more of effort in assisting him.
The list goes on, with many more players. Nobody is perfect, and I don’t hold professional athletes to any sort of golden standard. It just seems like this year, more than others in the past I’m hoping that there are players my team specifically doesn’t pick. I also see teams disappointing me by further downgrading a player who might have an addiction issue, and writing it off with an injury concern. And wholly ignoring a player with a potential anxiety problem.
Yes, I’ll be watching the NFL Draft. And yes, I’ll talk about prospects from a football standpoint. It is just less than inspiring to see, “character concerns” be condemned last season, while they are ignored when evaluating the incoming class of rookies. But I guess, those who don’t learn from history…