Linebacker damages draft stock after being charged with drink-driving.
With just two months until college football prospects enter the NFL world, one highly touted prospect has made his life a whole lot harder.
Last week, we rated Alec Ogletree as the third best linebacker in the upcoming draft. Now while his talent will not change, this foolish mistake will inevitably affect his draft stock.
NFL teams meticulously scrutinise everything about the players, from their on field talents, to what they do in their spare time. These kind of mistakes will put doubt in a teams mind whether he can be trusted to act professional.
Regardless if he is still just a young man and these kind of mistakes happen, it’s a part of life. The fact that he should realise the extra pressure on him in these next few months is maybe the biggest pressure he will ever face, and that he should be acting much more responsibly.
Their is the money issue too. Whilst the 21 year-old will still be one of the first linebackers off the board come draft day, he will no doubt be taken lower down, which in turn will seriously reduce his potential income. While he won’t slip to anything lower than the middle of the second round, that could mean the difference between $15m and $7m.
Teams will not want to risk huge money on players who cannot act responsibly, something which the former Georgia Bulldogs linebacker has done, and so will reduce his salary accordingly to insure that if he makes a similar mistake again, there is little financial penalty if they cut him.
It is not uncommon for players with ‘character issues’ to still accomplish great starts to their careers. Last year cornerback Janoris Jenkins was regarded as the best prospect at the position for a decade, but dropped to the second round after drug usage. He went on to lead the St. Louis Rams in interceptions last season, and will no doubt be a contender for All-Pro status in future years.
Ogletree will still be one of the top prospects in this years draft, and will need to impress in the interview stage with teams at the upcoming combine. He will just need to be careful now that teams will have him on a tight leash, and if he continues to make these kind of mistakes, his tenure in the NFL won’t last that long.