Thinking about the four pillars and Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd

How many alcohol-related incidents are too many? That's the question teams in need of a wide receiver might be asking themselves if Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd ends up in the NFL supplemental draft this summer. As we mentioned earlier, Floyd was arrested over the weekend for DUI, his second infraction in the last 14 months. Floyd was suspended today and if he can't play football this season at ND, he could end up available to teams this summer. 

Late this afternoon, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly suspended Floyd indefinitely, but he held out a caveat that his senior receiver could play again if he can demonstrate that he has changed his behavior. That's the same question NFL teams will be asking if Floyd doesn't get reinstated. Some are convinced that Floyd has played his last snap for the Irish, but don't be so sure of it. 

Just as a refresher, the supplemental draft is held in July. Teams pick in the same order as the April draft, only submit "bids" for picks based on the draft round. Floyd could fetch a third, possibly even a second, round selection based on his talent. Teams spending a pick on a player in the supplemental draft then lose that pick the next April. Think of it like an advance on a 2012 draft pick.

Floyd received a third-round grade this year from the Draft Advisory Committee, but some believe that has more to do with injuries. Even if Floyd returns to school and comes out in next year's draft, he'll still face character questions after two nearly identical incidents. If he comes out in the supplemental draft, he'll be an even bigger risk. 

On the surface, it sounds like a win-win: get a second- or third-round quality receiver a year early. But that's a big risk. You have to wonder about a player who makes the same mistake twice in barely more than a year. Not that youth aren't allowed indiscretion, but Floyd thought through his draft status hard enough to return to school and boost his value. He should have known enough to get a ride or call a cab based on the same premise. 

It does raise another question: just how rigorously committed to the four pillars are the Rams now that they have successfully implemented a positive team culture and a nucleus of players who embody that. They were willing to take a chance on Chargers WR Vincent Jackson, who has a couple of DUIs on his resume too. Will they be willing to take a similar risk in the draft? Should they?

Jackson may have his character concerns, but he was an well-established player with no doubt about his NFL talent. You can't say the same thing for a rookie, and forfeiting a second or third round pick when you could just as easily wait a year and get a player with one less question mark on his resume. Then again, you hate to see a team miss out on the next Mike Williams or LeGarret Blount. 

Let the annual four pillars debate begin. 

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