From the moment a draft-eligible college athlete opts in for the NFL draft until the moment his name is called, there is a constant struggle to bolster his draft stock. Whether it’s a postseason event like the Senior Bowl, the combine or a Pro Day, there are many chances to shine.
There are many more opportunities, however, for players to fall down draft boards. Any poor, or less-than-anticipated performance at the three events listed above could hurt. As could a bad interview, legal issues or a workout that didn’t go as well as planned.
That said, here are four former SEC players who have seen their NFL draft stock fall since season’s end:
Chris Jones, DL — Mississippi State Bulldogs
It wasn’t bad enough that Jones had to endure the embarrassment of his junk falling out during the 40-yard dash (which did not affect his draft stock), but now he’s in real trouble.
Jones was stopped by Mississippi State University police Wednesday for speeding and then arrested for driving with a suspended license, according to the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s office.
Trouble with the authorities is a huge no-no for draft hopefuls. And while driving without a updated license doesn’t sound all that terrible, it says a lot to NFL teams about Jones’ lack of preparedness and character.
Demarcus Robinson, WR — Florida Gators
Turn film on from Robinson’s days at Florida and a great talent shows through. That’s a positive.
But no NFL team will solely look at his film when there were so many off-the-field incidents that landed him in hot water while in Gainesville. Then take into account that he had bad interviews with at least two teams at the combine, according to Yahoo! Sports, and Robinson’s stock is falling.
A’Shawn Robinson, DT — Alabama Crimson Tide
By most accounts, Robinson is rated as the best interior defensive lineman in the draft. But there’s more to the story.
There’s some dissension among evaluators. While he’s a great run-stopper and can pressure the quarterback, he’s been criticized for a lack of explosion and burst.
A'Shawn Robinson is lethargic.
— Cian Fahey (@Cianaf) March 14, 2016
Robinson also has heard questions about his motor and ability to remain effective for four quarters.
7. Only guy w/ his hands on hips, huffing and puffing the whole time was A'Shawn Robinson. ??RED FLAG?? because he hardly did anything.
— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) March 10, 2016
Some NFL team will grab Robinson early. But he’d be a higher first-round pick if his tape was more consistent.
Dak Prescott, QB — Mississippi State Bulldogs
Rule No. 1 in pre-draft preparations: Do not get into trouble. Prescott didn’t listen.
Prescott was arrested for DUI on March 12 in Starkville, Miss. Even though he apologized shortly thereafter, and two Breathalyzer tests were inconclusive, according to the Associated Press, NFL teams will take a good, long look at Prescott to evaluate his decision-making skills.
For scouts, who were on the fence with regard to Prescott’s ability to run an NFL offense (as a starter or backup), this arrest was a terrible red flag.