The Red Flags
There are many reasons why consensus top talents are not selected in the first round: they might not fit into schemes on certain teams, they might have injury concerns, or maybe they just aren’t as good as commonly thought. The following players, taken in the first round in the ITP mock draft, fell out of the first round of the NFL Draft in large part because of off-the-field concerns. These issues complicate their standing heading into Days 2 and 3 of the draft.
Randy Gregory, EDGE, Nebraska
At one point, the Nebraska edge player was considered a potential Top-5 pick, but a failed drug test at the Combine called into question his commitment and availability, as he will start his professional career subject to random drug testing – and suspensions – in the NFL’s substance abuse program. In addition, a recent Deadspin article wonders if the defender suffers from anxiety and depression. Those are not the only concerns with Gregory, as his 6’5”, 235-pound frame is too light to play defensive end, but he lacks the experience in coverage teams want in an outside linebacker. In the second round, however, the potential reward outweighs the risks, and the dynamic pass rusher will not have to wait long to hear his name called. https://twitter.com/Dumonjic_Alen/status/594137810019291137
Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
Collins’s college tape and production didn’t merit being drafted in the first-round, but it seemed likely some cornerback-needy NFL team would see his ideal build for press man coverage (6’1”, 203 pounds) and take him there, given the selections of Kevin Johnson, Byron Jones and Marcus Peters. Like Gregory, Collins slipped because of multiple failed drug tests while in college, and his recent foot surgery doesn’t help, either. His size, speed, and improving instincts make him best corner available at this point, and some team will grab him in the second round. NFL Draft Profile: Jalen Collins
La’el Collins, OT/OG, LSU
On talent and tape, the versatile Collins would have been selected in the first 20 picks Thursday night. But how can an NFL team possibly evaluate his future in light of the police wanting to question him regarding the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend? Could the entire NFL really go seven rounds without selecting perhaps the draft’s best offensive lineman, even though he might be entirely innocent? What team is willing to deal with the scrutiny and condemnation that would go with taking a player in Collins’s situation? His status and availability figures to dominate the headlines over the last two days of the draft.NFL Draft Profile: La’el Collins Follow us on Twitter @ITPylon.