Every year there's prospects that enter the draft with major red flags. Some worse than others, but usually there's a legitimate draft day fall for the knuckleheads that have repeat mistakes. Very rarely does a player avoid this fate. Some have even seen their stock diminish altogether, and go undrafted.
The Rams have had some success with drafting players who have slid due to red flags. Players like Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, Chris Givens, Alec Ogletree, etc... have gone on to have a decent amount of success and all have been starters. Other players with draft day slides - but have gone on to have success - include Dez Bryant and Vontaze Burfict. Hell, even Randy Moss, Warren Sapp, or how about Dan Marino (fell to 23 due to rumors of cocaine usage), have all gone on to seemingly prove to be "worth it".
Of course on the other side of the coin you have players like Maurice Clarett and Lawrence Phillips (still hurts my soul) who completely burned teams in the third degree.
There will surely be players that fall, as its inevitably going to hapoen every draft. The Rams could snatch one of these guys, but who should it be? Lets have a look at five players that could fall to later picks, but happen to be worth more:
- Dorial Green-Beckham - There is no denying Green-Beckham's ability. While he undoubtedly showed up to the combine not quite in tip top shape, he somehow still ran a 4.49 40, 10 foot broad jump, 33.5 vert, 6.89 3 cone drill, and a 4.36 short shuttle. He displayed good explosion, change of direction, and acceleration. All this was at 237 lbs, 15 lbs heavier than his playing weight. And there lies one of the many red flags. He's like a less dedicated Megatron. While Calvin Johnson was as raw as they come coming out, he was addicted to the gym. Add in DGB's marijuana usage, breaking and entering accusations, and allegedly pushing his girlfriends roommate down the stairs and he's surely likely to see a drop. He could be available in at the top of the second round.
- Paul Dawson - While Dawson doesn't have a lengthy track record off the field, he developed a reputation of being lazy and lacking dedication while at TCU. While you'll be hard pressed to find anyone to speak poorly of his game - even those that first made these claims - these are issues that really rub a team wrong. Teams are not to fond of lazy players. Dawson is another player that showed up to the combine out of shape. No one really knows his true athletic ability because he has never trained his body to perform at a high level. But his tape is some of the best in the draft. He sees the field like an elite QB, and gets from point A to point B with no hesitation. He is a helluva coverage linebacker and plays the run like no other. He makes awesome presnap reads, which is baffling considering he is not known to watch much film. A dedicated player with this kind of tape is a top 15 pick, but Dawson may be looking at a pick somewhere between 25-50.
- Randy Gregory - Gregory displayed a different kind of stupid. Whenever a player fails a drug test at the combine you have to wonder what they were thinking? The combine is two months after the season and you know the date. How are you not clean? Thats like someone giving you the winning lottery numbers two months in advance, and on the day of, you pick all the wrong numbers. What the hell kind of horse poop is that? His story got so much better when he admitted that this wasn't a recent issue, but something he managed to get away with for years. That can count as addiction. For a league that just had a budding superstar (Josh Gordon) suspended a year, and players like Justin Blackmon and Johnny Manziel checking into rehab, a legit drop is in his future. He could've been a top 10 pick, there's now a real shot his range is 20-100. Remember Da'rick Rogers, same issue as Gregory, he went undrafted, although Gregory is more talented.
- Marcus Peters - Peters has one of the worst kind of red flags. You see teams look over a lot of things, but cancerous players to the locker room aren't one of them. At least not very often. Peters is what they like to call prototype. He has it all, and probably would be a top ten pick if not for his glaring on and off field issues. He has a hard time controlling his temper. Its bad enough to lose your head with a teammate but to lose your cool with your coach, well that's like the ultimate no no in sports. You truly cant be trusted once you show your willing to go that far. No coach feels he should have to walk on eggshells around his players. And no coach wants his players to either. This sucks considering Peters looks like a future shut down corner. He could very well come off the board anywhere from the first to the third round. And it wouldn't be surprising if he dropped further.
- P.J. Williams - Williams has a mixed reputation. He is stud athlete with mouth watering explosiveness and ideal size for the corner position. He's not only an athlete but he is a damn good football player and is said to be a good leader in the locker room and on the field. He has good ball skills, and is one of the best tackling corners on the draft. He plays the run as well as anyone. Making him more lucrative, some believe he can even succeed at safety. Versatility is never frowned upon. He is a risk taker though, and those risk has at times resulted in touchdowns. But that's not the worst. Williams was involved in a hit run previously. But he managed to get teams to start to feel more comfortable with him after the combine and his pro day. Then a day after his pro day, Williams was busted for a DUI and driving without a valid license. he could come off the board between rounds one and three.
And what the hell, I'll even throw in a freeby sixth guy to watch...
- Tevin McDonald - If the last name sounds familiar to you that's probably because it's the same as current Rams safety T.J. McDonald. Still haven't figured it out yet huh? They're brothers. Tevin hails from Eastern Washington, but he originally played for UCLA. Like his brother and dad, Tevin plays safety, and he has a strong reputation for being a film junkie. Hard work is something he does not shy away from. And hes believed to be one of the smarter football players in the draft. He's an average athlete with above average quickness, and he lacks the pop that dad and brother have upon contact. But he is a far superior coverage safety. He's the centerfielder T.J. is not. But he may only get drafted somewhere in the 5th round range, and thats if he doesn't go undrafted. Tevin is undersized and was kicked off of UCLA's team for relentless use of marijuana as he failed a reported four drug tests. Without that on his resume he probably would be a third round pick. With it, he could go undrafted. In his favor, is he has reported been clean the last two years.
The Rams could very well take a flier on a young man with a troubled past. They're certainly not afraid to do their homework and follow their gut. They'll surely have the opportunity to snatch a guy up, but will they jump at the opportunity to take an expensive talent at a cheap price, or focus on their needs and getting a clean player with less risk?