1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Draft Insider: One GM's blueprint for sniffing out character issues

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by ATVZ400, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. ATVZ400

    ATVZ400 Senior Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    parts unknown, NJ
    Weighing where character fits into decisions on picking players in the NFL Draft starts with a team's philosophy: How much character and issues from a player's past is that team going to weigh against him in its assessment?

    When I hear someone say that character is the first consideration on whether a team is going to select a player, in reality that's after we determine the player has enough talent to be considered in the first place. After all, just because you have good character doesn't mean you can play in the NFL

    NFL teams owed it to themselves to ask Darren McFadden a lot of questions about his off-the-field conduct. (US Presswire)
    I have always believed in having as few problem players to deal with as possible. The reasons are simple -- problem players can take up a lot of your time and the coaches' time, they can become a distraction to the team and many times they will break your heart.

    The issue becomes what constitutes a problem; after all just because a player makes a mistake doesn't mean he will repeat it. We have to remember these are young men in their early 20s; they are going to make mistakes. I believe you have to have a philosophy in this area. We had red flags we had a hard time overlooking, and that if these occurred we would put these players on our "Do not Draft Board:"

    • Multiple failed drug tests.

    • A failed drug test at the scouting combine. If the player knew he was going to be tested but still could not pass a drug test, then either he had an uncontrollable problem or he was not very smart, either of which would eliminate him from our consideration.

    • Any issues with abuse of the opposite sex or selling drugs.

    • Also, issues such as fighting or pulling a gun on someone (rare) could eliminate a player.

    • An area I would characterize as discussable would be a player with HGH or steroids issues. If a player failed a test in college for performance enhancing drugs, we would talk to his coaches and the player to determine if we thought the player depended upon the drugs to be successful. If so, we would eliminate the player. If we determined it was an honest mistake we would keep the player on the board.

    What you had to rely on in making this decision is whether you believe the coaches and player when they told you it was not a problem. There is some guesswork involved in making this decision. You would also observe the player and look at his body, and if it did not look natural, then that would bother you.

    On the subject of DUIs, if there were multiple instances then this is an alert; if we determined the player had a drinking problem he would be off our board. With one DUI we rarely took a player off the board because usually we determined the player did not have a problem. One failed drug test, usually with marijuana, became a discussion, and if it was a mistake made early in his career and if his college coaches stood by him, then we usually chalked it up to immaturity.

    The tough areas are when a player might have been accused of something he did not do or with some of the issues mentioned above ... you have to just make judgments that really are just a guess as to whether you think a player will get in trouble again. My experience has been that past patterns do predict future behavior.

    This year, you have the case of Arkansas RB Darren McFadden. I talked to two people I trust very much who know him and they told me that when on campus, there were no issues with McFadden, and they loved him as a player and the effort he put forth. The questions about him seem to come when he went home.

    good read
    link to rest of story

Share This Page