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Guest Aloysius

Poor character prospects

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Guest Aloysius

Interesting stuff from PFW:

 

PFW polled five high-level league executives, asking them to rank five players with suspect track records — (listed alphabetically) Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree, Illinois CB Vontae Davis, Florida WR Percy Harvin, USC ILB Rey Maualuga and Boston College DT B.J. Raji — in the order in which character is most likely to be a negative factor in the pros. All participants were granted anonymity in exchange for honesty.

 

One top-ranking official, who said he would not draft any of them, compared the exercise to trying to decide between whether he’d rather eat cow manure, drink monkey urine or ingest rabbit turds. None of the choices seemed attractive enough to place one over the other, and, it should be noted, not all felt strongly that character would be an issue that would prevent them from drafting the following players or affect their ability to succeed in the pros. Teams with strong locker rooms, veteran leadership and consistent, demanding coaches may be able to better tolerate concerns.

 

More specific details on these players are included in Pro Football Weekly’s 2009 Draft Preview than what is included below, and much is best left unsaid, but following are the results of how teams rated the greatest risk concerns.

 

WR Percy Harvin, Florida (Jr.)

The first player mentioned by all five executives, Harvin is the clear-cut favorite in this year’s draft class to find trouble after receiving a giant payday. He was very competitive at Florida, even battling through a broken bone in his foot that was publicly referred to as a sprained ankle, helping the Gators win two national championships the past three years. The mention of character concerns about Harvin drew outrage from ardent supporters of Gator Nation after PFW’s 2009 Draft Guide was released. Nonetheless, one executive said Harvin would have to slip to the fourth round for him to consider rolling the dice on Harvin's character. Two others said they would not entertain the idea of drafting him at any price. Coachability, a posse of hangers-on, his lack of respect for authority and drug usage made Harvin a unanimous selection to become a repeated problem in the pros.

 

WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech (Soph.-3)

Crabtree may not have a laundry list of arrests, but his ego is abnormally large to the point where he repeatedly demeaned training staff, his work ethic has been described as “marginal at best,” and his intelligence and ability to handle success remain major question marks. One thorough evaluator compared Crabtree’s mental makeup to that of former LSU and Buccaneers 2004 15th overall pick Michael Clayton, who made a big splash in the NFL as a rookie before going on to average 31 catches, 378 yards and a half-TD catch each of the past four years as he lost focus, bought into the hype and stopped working at his craft the way young receivers must do to be great. Crabtree's competitiveness noticeably stands out on tape, and he did play through injury last season. However, when the Red Raiders were getting whipped by better competition (Oklahoma and Mississippi) during the final two games of the season, Crabtree did not finish either game. After he gets a taste of success in the pros, evaluators are not confident he will be able to handle the trappings of the pro game.

 

ILB Rey Maualuga, USC

Football is clearly very important to him, and he has endearingly been described as a “war daddy” by evaluators, but questions remain about his maturity, accountability, trustworthiness, intelligence and ability to responsibly handle alcohol. His coaches publicly have contended that he has matured greatly, but some of his actions have continued to suggest otherwise. One executive said he had positioned Maualuga just far enough down in the first round so that he would not be considered with the team’s first pick, hoping he would be gone by the time the second pick came around. Another evaluator said he did not envision Maualuga’s position on his team’s draft board being altered based on his character but, when pressed as to whether he would draft Maualuga in the top 10, said the pick would be “too scary.”

 

CB Vontae Davis, Illinois (Jr.)

Outside of being demoted several times throughout his career, in the spring and in the fall, Davis may not seem like he has a lot of issues on the surface — with no noted arrests or incidents that scream “problem.” However, his team interviews have been received very poorly, questioning his mental instability, lack of maturity and intelligence issues that clearly show up on tape consistently. He was regularly in the coaches’ doghouse, is very difficult to manage, does not respond well to coaching and may never easily blend into a locker room, as he beats to his own drum.

 

DT B.J. Raji, Boston College

Defensive tackles may need to be held to a different standard, with the modern-day widebody not needed to play as many snaps in the pros as most are asked to play in college, where fewer schools rotate their defensive linemen the way NFL teams tend to do. In a league where extra mass is rewarded and girth is a big plus defending the run, not all teams even penalize their linemen for not being able to control their weight. However, Raji’s work habits, intelligence and overall maturity, including at least one verified failed drug test, were distractions in college, especially early on, and several executives said they would not be willing to invest a first-round pick in a player with so many questions. Among the aforementioned five players with concerns, however, Raji drew the least criticism because of the improved maturity he showed as a senior after a clerical error cost him his junior season.

 

Others who could be affected by character issues:

 

WR Brandon Tate, North Carolina

WR Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina

OT Michael Oher, Mississippi

TE Travis Beckum, Wisconsin

LB Dannell Ellerbe, Georgia

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PFW polled five high-level league executives, asking them to rank five players with suspect track records — (listed alphabetically) Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree, Illinois CB Vontae Davis, Florida WR Percy Harvin, USC ILB Rey Maualuga and Boston College DT B.J. Raji — in the order in which character is most likely to be a negative factor in the pros. All participants were granted anonymity in exchange for honesty.

 

Sounds like future Bengals!

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I don't get it. Crabtree is good, but with character concerns, I'd take Robiskie a lot later on in the first round

 

every time before taking a character chance on any player earlier. It's dumb.

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Any chance that these 5 executives are teams drafting 10-15?

 

Yea, a little hard to believe some of this surfaces 2 weeks before the draft. You take it for what it's worth. Teams have spent a lot of time and money investigating all these guys.

 

 

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Guest Aloysius

There have been rumblings about Crabtree's ego for some time now, though nothing as concrete had been put together until now. Could be that this is just teams hoping he'll slide, but I don't think that's the case - it's almost a foregone conclusion that he won't make it past Jacksonville at #8. And his 15 on the Wonderlic doesn't exactly dispel the intelligence concerns raised in the article.

 

The stuff about the other guys is pretty well-documented and has been discussed a lot on this board.

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To be real honest here......between a good character guy who won't help you win v a bad character guy who helps you win...give me the rotten scum bucket.

 

 

Just the point in life I am at as a Browns fan....

 

 

 

Just being honest.

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you only have to look south-soutwest on Interstate 71 to see why you should not draft poor character - especially on a continual basis or you will bungle a promising team......

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To be real honest here......between a good character guy who won't help you win v a bad character guy who helps you win...give me the rotten scum bucket.

 

 

Just the point in life I am at as a Browns fan....

 

 

 

Just being honest.

 

Do the names Pacman and Henry strike a cord.

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There have been rumblings about Crabtree's ego for some time now, though nothing as concrete had been put together until now. Could be that this is just teams hoping he'll slide, but I don't think that's the case - it's almost a foregone conclusion that he won't make it past Jacksonville at #8. And his 15 on the Wonderlic doesn't exactly dispel the intelligence concerns raised in the article.

 

The stuff about the other guys is pretty well-documented and has been discussed a lot on this board.

 

Did you say a 15 on his wonderlic test? He has a large ego? How about some pending legal issues(being sarcastic) and news of 2 wives and 2 children.

 

Sounds about right for our #1 pick :unsure::unsure::unsure:

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Do the names Pacman and Henry strike a cord.

 

 

 

Sure they do.

 

My sig banner say it all. I am tired of loser football, and that is all we have done since 1964.

 

I will also say there is a distinction between poor character and criminal character.

 

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Interesting stuff from PFW:

 

Good stuff Aloy! Thanks for sharing that.

 

I remembered when Tom Osborne was running the team full of Longest Yard candidates. There was 1 story after another about juiced up meatheads getting away with shadey character. Somehow, some way - Tom Osborne shook all the right hands behind the scenes and his team was in every BIG game there was for a while.

 

ALOT of the BIGGEST studs have been pampered since their early high school days. And when these guys get to the pros - that small pond they've been used to becomes an ocean of fish that swim just as fast and hunt just as well. Examples? Lawrence Phillips. Broderick Thomas. Jason Peters. If Barry Switzer ran that same program the NCAA wouldn't have given it the same blind eye. These guys WIN when a coach has higher rank and scholarship leverage. You put them on top of an NFL franchise and suddenly they can hold the franchise and the coach hostage with zero leverage after the signing bonus. Butch's fate was sealed with Gerrard Warren.

 

When I lived in Western, NY - the local papers would always show John Butler and Bill Polian going after gems from small schools with HIGH character. Andre Reed went to freakin Kutztown State - name one WR we've drafted better than that since 99. I can't either. Thurman Thomas went in round 2 in the era BEFORE Barry Sanders so this was hardly a place with a RB tradition at the time. Thomas was PISSED at all the noses up in the air toward him so guess what he entered the league with? An agenda to PROVE the naysayers wrong without enormous signing bonus upfront. Will Wohlford went to freakin Vanderbilt so everyone saidf "huh?" when his name appeared in round 1 at the time. Back then, that wasn't a school putting bodies in the NFL let alone round 1. Steve Tasker went to Northwestern while Mark Kelso went to William and mary. Pete Metzlaars went to Wabash State. These are all very important players surrounding a small nucleus of big names. The NFL draft these days doesn't really cater to the kids going to the Spraybash States. It caters to the BIG names from big conferences. I don't think Josh Cribbs was on the invite list at the Indy combines. That only fueled his fire in the belly to PROVE himself. I like the guys that come here caring about what's ahead instead of seeking payment for past play.

 

Back to us: Joe Thomas, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow at least came here with an agenda to succeed. This might not be popular but I admired the way BOTH Edwards and Winslow fought back from devastating injuries that would have ruined one with lesser character. I was a PROUD fan for Edwards in 07 when I saw him scoring 17 TDs. That's the character you WANT. BTW, does anyone KNOW that Joe Thomas blew his knee out early on at Wisconsin and required reconstructive surgery? He did what Edwards and Winslow did to get his way back to peak performance. That's the substance you can't measure at Indy or in a Wonderlic test.

 

Sometimes I wish we'd trade this #5 overall for more picks and smaller signing bonuses. The REALITY is that a Courtney Brown, Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow or Sean Jones CAN go on IR just as easily as LeCharles Bentley or Gary Baxter can. Putting all our marbles into a small volume of picks can give us the same results we've been getting.

- Tom F.

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Guest Aloysius

Then again, a guy's entitled to a bit of an ego when he plays like this:

 

(Larger clip here)

 

And I don't buy the part about Crabtree not playing hurt. He really impressed me with his toughness in the Baylor game.

 

 

There may be enough ego & intelligence questions to be a little bit concerned, but I wouldn't rule him out at #5. Personally, I'm still oscillating between Crab & Orakpo as my top option if Curry isn't there.

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Then again, a guy's entitled to a bit of an ego when he plays like this:

 

There may be enough ego & intelligence questions to be a little bit concerned, but I wouldn't rule him out at #5. Personally, I'm still oscillating between Crab & Orakpo as my top option if Curry isn't there.

 

I'm not a fan of Crabtree. But in his defense, I think there can be a difference between "Character" and "Personality".

ie, Pacman Jones. That dude has some serious character flaws.

 

If Crabtree has a large ego I can put up with that. It's even to be expected to a certain extent.

 

I might be spittling hairs but I look at character flaws differently than personality flaws. This thread article reminds me more of a personality thing rather than a character thing.

 

As I said, I'm not a huge fan of Crabtree as a high draft pick. But in the same breathe I really respect Mayhock's views and he really loves the guy.

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I don't get it. Crabtree is good, but with character concerns, I'd take Robiskie a lot later on in the first round

 

every time before taking a character chance on any player earlier. It's dumb.

you actually think that robiskie is a first round pick? AHAHAHAHAHAHA. that's rich man. thanks a needed a laugh.

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you actually think that robiskie is a first round pick? AHAHAHAHAHAHA. that's rich man. thanks a needed a laugh.

 

 

After 50+ receptions and 11 TD's in his his junior year he was a concensus 1st round pick had he left early.

Even now he continues to creep back up there. Most having him going somewhere between #34 and #55.

 

During his senior year he had a minor injury and a QB that couldn't get him the ball and thus he slipped. But to say it's laughable that he could be a first round talent is unfair and inaccurate.

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After 50+ receptions and 11 TD's in his his junior year he was a concensus 1st round pick had he left early.

Even now he continues to creep back up there. Most having him going somewhere between #34 and #55.

 

During his senior year he had a minor injury and a QB that couldn't get him the ball and thus he slipped. But to say it's laughable that he could be a first round talent is unfair and inaccurate.

we will let the draft decide if he has first round talent. however seeing as he is the 4th or 5th best receiver in the draft, there is little chance of him getting into the first round

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Guest Aloysius

The Chicago Tribune put together a good list of guys with character concerns:

 

Alex Boone, OT, Ohio State: Repeated incidents involving alcohol don't bodewell for his draft stock.

 

Jonathan Casillas, LB, Wisconsin: He has had a couple of drunken-driving episodes, and scouts question his maturity.

 

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.

 

Dannell Ellerbe, LB, Georgia: 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.

 

Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee: He has an arrest in his past for disorderly conduct and is considered difficult to deal with.

 

Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa: Scouts question his work ethic, and the Tribune's 2008 Silver Football winner had to sit out the 2007 season with academic issues.

 

Bruce Johnson, CB, Miami: Suspended for being late to practices and missing practices.

 

P.J. Hill, RB, Wisconsin: Arrested twice for driving under the influence.

 

Rey Maualuga, LB, Southern California: He was arrested for suspicion of misdemeanor battery, and in a separate incident benched for getting out of hand at a party.

 

Kory Sheets, RB, Purdue: Sheets was considered a finger-pointer who eventually was prohibited from speaking to the media after criticizing a teammate.

 

Andre Smith, OT, Alabama: He isn't a thug, but he has made a series of poor decisions off the field that will affect his stock.

 

Donald Washington, CB, Ohio State: He was benched for violating team rules.

 

Lardarius Webb, CB, Nicholls State: He was kicked out of Southern Mississippi for violating team rules.

 

Morris Wooten, LB, Arizona State: He has been suspended for violating team rules, and coaches have found him difficult.

 

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we will let the draft decide if he has first round talent. however seeing as he is the 4th or 5th best receiver in the draft, there is little chance of him getting into the first round

 

 

Well, him being considered the 4th or 5th receiver is at least partially attributable to having the oh-so prolific passer Pryor being his QB this past year. NO receiver will ever look elite with Pryor's special ability to put the ball in slow motion on passes over 10 yards or so.

 

 

 

 

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The Chicago Tribune put together a good list of guys with character concerns:

 

Could you imagine the amount of beer that could be drank at one party if you put P.J Hill and Alex (Bud) Boone together in one room?!! Woohooo!!

 

I want to see one get drafted in the 6th round and the other in the 7th round by the same team. :lol:

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