Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby was entering the 2013 season as one of the nation’s top collegiate athletes and the #6 overall NFL draft prospect according to Drafttek.com.
Now, he will become the first case study as to how much more seriously NFL teams are taking character concerns in light of the Aaron Hernandez situation.
The defensive back, who was set to represent his university at BigTen Media Days, was recently arrested for an altercation at a bar in Indiana that resulted in him being thrown out of the establishment. However, Roby attempted re-entry and ultimately struck a security guard in the chest.
Such actions, reminiscent of those that have come to light during Hernandez’ time at Florida, cast doubt on the Buckeye’s ability to remain a viable top ten pick.
The evaluation team at Drafttek.com expressed agreement to Breitbart Sports that Roby has reason to be concerned.
Dean Kindig believes that the incident alone could cause the draft’s top corner on talent to drop from a projected #4 selection to the Bills to #19 for the Bears. Kindig also remarked that “Ifo Ekpre-Olomu of Oregon as well as Marcus Roberson and LouchiezPurifoy, both from Floridaare the likelybeneficiaries of Roby’s alleged misdeed.” All three corners are rated with a first round ranking and are rising on Drafttek’s Big Board.
Fellow evaluator Brett Stott pointed out that the slide from #4 to #19 in the projections is a drop, but not devastating or irreparable at this stage. He added:
“If Roby showssome remorse, doesn’t miss any games, and keeps himself clean for the rest ofthe year, I doubt it will impact his stock too much. Having said that, withteams now more leery about drafting guys with ‘character concerns’ early in thedraft, his list of potential suitors is almost sure to go down. We’ll see howthings develop before adjusting his ranking significantly. This should beanother strong CB class, so there are a number of potential candidates who arepoised to take his place as the top CB in the draft.”
Rounding out the team, the lead Drafttek evaluator who is known simply as “Longball,” added that, while the league is certainly taking character concerns seriously, off-the-field incidents do not override the desire to put a winning and profitable team on the field. He commented:
“Pac Man Jones was not a model citizen but still drafted high. Iknow this is a different world and with the Hernandez situation frontand center, NFL teams may make character concerns a higher priority. Nevertheless, despite what Sheriff Goodell would like us to think, choirboys don’t play in the NFL and teams will continue to take a chance onplayers who perform on the field, especially with the new rookie wagescale, and figure they can use them up as a commodity during theirrookie contract, get a few good years out of them and then if they go tojail, draft another.”
The next several months will be crucial for Roby’s long-term future. Additionally, his head coach will also be under increased scrutiny.
Urban Meyer, who has been, fairly or not, under fire for coaching Aaron Hernandez, has now had a string of public incidents at Ohio State.
In his statement released by the university, Meyer clearly had his image on his mind, saying: “I have a clear set of core values in place that members of thisfootball program are constantly reminded of and are expected to honor. There are also expectationswith regard to behavior. I expect our players to conduct themselvesresponsibly and appropriately and they will be held accountable fortheir actions.”