A Look At This Year's Players In The Draft Who Have "Character Issues"
But while 40 times are very tangible stats, guys with "character issues" are harder to figure out. Some guys, like Randy Moss and Marques Colston, got this label, but have been great players in the NFL. Other guys, like Lawrence Phillips, were an absolute nightmare.
This year is of course no exception. Once again the draft is filled with guys who haven't exactly been model citizens or guys who pissed off coaches or guys who just don't seem to give a damn. These are the toughest picks for an NFL team to make. If you draft a character issues guy and he performs, you become the smartest man in the world. If you draft a character issues guy and he continues to be an idiot, you then open yourself up to mass criticism because you should have known exactly what you were getting involved in.
Here are this years question marks courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.
Alex Boone, OT, Ohio State: Likes drinking...a lot. Has repeated incidents involving alcohol that don't bode well for his draft stock.
Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois: The Illini's top defensive standout is considered a handful for coaches, as he was demoted in spring practice and benched for the start of a game. This is more or less the same knock that Colston got when he was at Hofstra.
Morris Wooten, LB, Arizona State: Same deal as Davis. He has been suspended for violating team rules, and coaches have found him difficult.
Dannell Ellerbe, LB, Georgia: This one's pretty fun. In one ugly incident, Ellerbe was arrested and charged with felony theft of a motor vehicle, giving false information to police, driving under the influence and underage possession of alcohol. Uh, why exactly isn't he in jail?
Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee: He has an arrest in his past for disorderly conduct and is considered difficult to deal with. He also gave an interview to newspapers last year in which he refused to speak in anything other than pterodactyl. Seriously.
Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa: He's gotten the lazy dumbass moniker. Scouts question his work ethic, and he had to sit out the 2007 season with academic issues.
Andre Smith, OT, Alabama: Speaking of dumbasses, this guy is the king of them. He's made a series of poor decisions - like showing up to the Combine totally out of shape, leaving the Combine early without alerting anyone before coming back, and royally screwing up team interviews.
Bruce Johnson, CB, Miami: Suspended for being late to practices and missing practices. That's always good. Maybe he'll be the defensive version of Plaxico Burress.
P.J. Hill, RB, Wisconsin: Arrested twice for driving under the influence. Although Jared Allen has done OK as a pro, and I don't think he's ever driven sober.
Jonathan Casillas, LB, Wisconsin: Another guy who hates cabs. Has a couple of drunken-driving episodes, and scouts question his maturity.
Rey Maualuga, LB, Southern California: He was arrested for suspicion of misdemeanor battery, and in a separate incident got benched for getting nutty at a party. Also humped Erin Andrews on the sidelines during the Rose Bowl. That may be what really hurts his stock.
Kory Sheets, RB, Purdue: Sheets was considered a finger-pointer who eventually was prohibited from speaking to the media after criticizing a teammate. I don't think this is really all that bad.
Lardarius Webb, CB, Nicholls State: He was kicked out of Southern Mississippi for violating team rules. That's never good.
Donald Washington, CB, Ohio State: He was benched for violating team rules. I assume that means he didn't wear a V-neck sweater on game day.
So what do you think of these guys? Who will turn out to be the next Moss or Colston, and who will find themselves out of the league within a year or two?
Off the field issues will dog some NFL draft prospects [Chicago Tribune]
Stock down: The problem children of the NFL Draft [The Big Lead]