With the NFL draft around two weeks away, fans and NFL experts alike are making the final touches on their final mock drafts. There are many things to consider when trying to figure out where players will be drafted such as skills, potential, size and more.
One of the biggest considerations to be made when it comes to a player's draft spot is their character. A player’s character is a fairly broad characteristic and can be anything from troubles with the law, to drug problems, to work ethics concerns. Basically anything that takes place “off-field” and is of concern is brought up here.
With the recent incidents surrounding players like Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Josh Gordon, a player’s character is an increasingly important factor that teams look at before they draft them. If a player has proven time and time again that they can’t stay out of trouble or follow direction, why would a team spend millions of dollars to keep them around?
For these players, even having one little blemish on your scouting report in terms of character can cause you to slip on draft boards and potentially miss out on millions of dollars. Especially in today’s day and age with social media and the internet, it makes it that much harder to hide these negatives from teams and the media.
Over the years, we have seen many players slip in the NFL draft due to these concerns, and this year won’t be any different. There are numerous extremely talented players in the 2015 NFL Draft class that are likely to slip down the draft boards because of their character.
Enjoy this list of the Top 15 players with character concerns in the 2015 NFL Draft.
15 Michael Dyer
Dyer is a very talented RB coming out of Louisville. He began his NCAA career with the Auburn Tigers and was immediately thought to be the future at the RB position due to his great size for his age. He had a good freshman season and impressed during the national championship game, but was then let go from the team due to failing a drug test. He then went to Arkansas State, but was dismissed from that team as well due to a traffic stop where it was revealed he had marijuana and a gun in the car, according to Bleacher Report.
14 Mike Davis
Mike Davis is a big bruising RB out of South Carolina. The 5’9, 223 lb back would be a hot commodity in the NFL due to his size, but his work ethic is turning teams off. Multiple NFL scouts have questioned his conditioning and focus, according to Rotoworld. And if teams are going to throw millions of dollars at a player, they have to know that the player will be focused and prepared to work hard to become better. He failed to get to 1000 yards in his final season and showed some “sluggishness” on the field.
13 Davaris Daniels
Daniels is a gifted young WR who last played for Notre Dame. Daniels’ character issues stem from the fact that he was suspended and ultimately let go from the Notre Dame football team after it was revealed that he, along with four other players, were handing in assignments and papers that were written for them by others, according to SI. This may not be as bad as some of the others on this list, but it is a definite red flag that teams will be looking at, as it may be evidence of his unwillingness to work hard.
12 Ronald Darby
Darby is an extremely speedy corner back from Florida State. Darby’s situation is a bit different than most on this list. He has not actually been convicted or proven to be a part of any wrongdoing, but was originally implicated in the same sexual assault case as Jameis Winston, according to Deadspin. Though he was cleared of all wrongdoing in that case, his connection with Winston in this case is likely to scare off some potential suitors, even if Darby has done nothing wrong. That is one of the downfalls of the media and its impact on some of these players.
11 Tevin McDonald
Tevin McDonald is one of the top safety prospects in the 2015 NFL draft. He began his college career at UCLA, but was most recently a member of the Eastern Washington football team. The reason McDonald was released from the UCLA football team is because he failed a total of three drug tests, according to the Seattle Times, which is a very damaging number. It shows he was given two extra chances and still didn’t stop using. And with the recent crackdown on drug use by the NFL, McDonald is likely going to slide down some draft boards due to his failed tests.
10 Justin Cox
Justin Cox is a DB prospect who last suited up for Mississippi State. His college career was going fine until it was completely derailed last fall when he was arrested and charged on domestic violence charges, according to The Dispatch. The repercussions of this were immediately felt as he was suspended from the team and ultimately let go soon thereafter. This is an especially touchy subject in the NFL as the Ray Rice situation is still very fresh in people's mind.
9 Josh Shaw
Shaw is a top DB prospect of out USC. His issue isn’t drugs, violence or anything like that. It’s simply his ability to tell the truth. Shaw made national headlines after he acquired injuries from jumping out of his apartment window. He immediately told a harrowing story of how his nephew was drowning in a pool and he had to save them. This, however, was not the truth. Truth is, Shaw jumped out of the window to avoid police after he had a loud argument with his girlfriend. The fact he was willing to take make up a lie like that and stick with it for so long raises concerns.
8 P.J. Williams
P.J. Williams is a very talented DB prospect out of Florida State. He is likely to be taken within the first few rounds, but would have been a clear cut 1st or 2nd round pick had it not been for his arrest in early April. Williams was pulled over by police and arrested for DUI, according to TMZ Sports. Remember, this took place less than a month before he was projected to be a top pick in the 2015 NFL draft, which takes place on April 30th. This bonehead move likely cost Williams a considerable amount of money.
7 Paul Dawson
Dawson is a very talented and productive linebacker out of TCU. In fact, he is one of the most productive college football defenders coming into the draft, with over 200 tackles in his last season. He was receiving widespread praise throughout the college and pro football circuits. However, he put up an absolute stinker at the combine. His athleticism and 40 time were awful, and his dedication and commitment were immediately brought into question, according to Bleacher Report. He is still a talented player who will be selected, but it’s not a good sign when the one time you should put on your best performance, you put on your worst.
6 Karlos Williams
Another player from Florida State, RB Karlos Williams, is also facing some questions from around the NFL regarding his character. He made headlines around the football world when it was announced that Tallahassee PD, via their Facebook page,were looking into an alleged domestic battery case involving Williams and the mother of his children. Things escalated once she posted pictures of her injuries on Facebook, and even claimed in the post that she is also pregnant. It was a despicable act by Williams that will without a doubt hurt his stock in the upcoming NFL draft, and rightfully so.
5 Jameis Winston
And yet another Florida State Seminole is appearing on this list, and it is none other than the infamous Jameis Winston. Winston is an extremely talented and NFL ready QB, who is likely to still be the #1 overall pick despite his multitude of character issues. These character issues range from sexual assault allegations, to property damage, to stealing $32 worth of crab legs from a local supermarket. It is a real testament to his abilities that he is still projected to go first, but NFL teams, notably the Buccaneers, should be a bit wary about his off the field issues.
4 Randy Gregory
Like P.J. Williams, Nebraska DE Randy Gregory was a likely first round pick in the NFL draft, except he was likely going to go top 10, which would make him an instant multi-millionaire. Everything was going to plan as Gregory had a great combine, except for one thing, he failed his NFL combine drug test according to NFL.com, which is without a doubt the worst time to fail a drug test. Still projected to go within the first two rounds, Gregory likely squandered his chance of being a top 10 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
3 Frank Clark
Clark, a DE from Michigan, was rising up draft boards late last season. However, on Nov 15th, his stock went crashing back down to earth. It was announced that Clark was allegedly involved in an altercation with his girlfriend, and was subsequently charged with domestic violence and assault a few days later, according to the Detroit Free Press. He has reached a plea deal in the case, but that black cloud of domestic violence still follows him around and is without a doubt going to affect how some teams view him and where they feel confident taking him in the draft.
2 Marcus Peters
Marcus Peters, formerly of the Washington Huskies, is widely regarded as the top cover cornerback in the 2015 NFL Draft. This should all but lock him in as a top 20 pick, but his character issues have stopped that from happening. Peters was dismissed from the Washington football team for a number of disagreements and issues with the coaching staff and officials, as well as challenging authority any chance he got, according to NFL.com. He is still likely to go in the first round, but that may be considered a reach. His brash and strong personality may have stopped him from being picked as early as his talent should have allowed.
1 Dorial Green-Beckham
And now we get to the number one player on this list, Dorial Green-Beckham. The former Missouri WR is a scouts dream as his 6'4 frame and physical ability is unmatched in this year’s draft. However, his variety of character concerns makes him the ultimate boom or bust prospect. His character concerns range from maturity concerns, multiple drug related concerns and domestic violence. The domestic violence example is particularly unsettling as Green-Beckham angrily broke into his girlfriend’s home and threw another individual down a set of stairs while trying to go after his girlfriend, according to Sporting News.