Every year we see prospects rise and fall. Usually this is due to on field performances, on occasions however it's due to concerns with character. This year is no different as we see numerous prospects enter the draft with red flags littered in their back garden.
I think we all value character differently. I know numerous Jets fans who don't care how often a player gets in trouble; as long as he makes plays on the field. I know others who won't touch a player if he has any previous baggage at all.
With the precarious way the Jets locker room is perched right now, I think it is important to bring in the right blend. I don't think we can afford to bring in too much more negativity. We still have serious concerns about the locker room culture with numerous players commenting on it this off-season.
So I'm going to quickly run down some players who have some red flags. Would you take a chance on them? let me know which of these guys you would avoid like the plague.
First of all lets go with Bryce Brown, as he is the prospect of the moment on GGN. Bryce has been investigated numerous times by the NCAA, he has been given poor advice and been surrounded by people who were looking out for themselves. However there is no evidence to suggest that Bryce is a bad person. You're not getting a Lawrence Phillips character with Bryce Brown. You are getting a player who's question marks revolve around his desire to play the game. Leaving Kansas State football team after just three carries with no real explanation is a red flag.
Now onto the player who's red flags may burn brightest. Janoris Jenkins may be the most talented cornerback in this years draft and one of the most talented to come out since Revis. Even with all the issues, he is still considered a first round prospect. He was arrested in May 2009 for fighting and was given probation and community service, he was arrested again in June 2009 for fighting and resisting arrest. In January 2011 and April 2011, Janoris was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession. Shortly after Florida got fed up with his antics and released him from their football program. He has four children by three different women. He'll be taken off some draft boards all together, but the manner in which he has faced his problems head on in the interview process may have some teams second guessing.
Bruce Irvin is another player who comes with his fair share of baggage. Bruce dropped out of high school after becoming academically ineligible and became involved in robbery and drug dealing. It was only when one of his closest friends was imprisoned for cocaine trafficking that Bruce decided to change his life. It paints quite the picture, however Bruce has turned his life around. He was arrested several weeks ago for destruction of property when he smashed a sandwich sign. However apart from that, the last 3-4 years have all been about performing on the field and working hard off the field.
The two star wide receivers in the 2012 NFL draft have also come under scrutiny in the past. Both Michael Floyd and Justin Blackmon have been arrested on driving incidents during their college careers. Blackmon was driving 92mph in a 60 mph zone in October 2010. Michael Floyd was suspended in March 2011 for driving under the influence, his third alcohol arrest in as many years. Michael's blood alcohol level was tested at 0.19, over double that of the legal limit in Indiana of 0.08.
Florida RB/WR Chris Rainey was arrested in 2010 for aggravated stalking. The arrest relates to a text message Rainey sent to his former girfriend which read "Time to Die, B**ch". The victim asked for charges to be dropped.
Georgia TE Orson Charles was arrested on March 9th 2011 for driving under the influence. Charles was stopped and then drove away as the policeman checked to ensure the vehicle was disabled. Stupidity more than anything.
I could keep this going with player after player. Mike Adams, Dre Kirkpatrick, Cliff Harris and Malcolm Beyah come immediately to mind. The bottom line is that a lot of prospects come with red flags. The Question is who do you take a chance on, who are the Lawrence Phillips and who are the players who just made a mistake.