If you're an NFL fan who pays little attention to college football, you might not know all that much about former Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. But you will.
Green-Beckham is a monster talent at receiver who can't stay out of trouble, and he'll present a fascinating debate when he comes out for the NFL draft, which might be as soon as next year.
CBS reported that Green-Beckham might sit out this season and prepare for the draft. He was kicked out of Missouri earlier this year for multiple off-field issues. The last straw came when he allegedly forced his way into an apartment looking for his girlfriend and pushed a woman down some stairs (read the full details of the incident here). He was reportedly going to land at FCS Eastern Illinois, but CBS said he might just sit out all year instead.
Is that the smart move for his NFL future? There might not be a smart move after all the negative attention he has brought on himself.
Sitting out won't help much, but neither would playing against terrible competition. A quiet season to rehabilitate his image wouldn't hurt, but it won't erase all the red flags either. Talent is not the issue. Green-Beckham was the clear No. 1 recruit in his class, and Missouri surprisingly landed him. He started slowly as a freshman and was suspended after a marijuana possession arrest, but came on late in the year. Then as a sophomore last season the 6-6, 225-pound Green-Beckham really showed flashes of his immense ability, even with uneven quarterback play at Missouri. He had 883 yards and 12 touchdowns and looked like a clear future top-10 pick.
But now what?
When he gets to the combine, which would seem to be in 2015 no matter if he plays an FCS season or not, teams will have to take a long, hard look at his incidents and decide how much of a character risk he is and if he has changed at all. Is he a bad seed? Just immature? Teams passed on Randy Moss after he was booted from a couple colleges, and look how that turned out. And Green-Beckham has the type of talent to remind folks of Moss. Do you think more teams wish they had taken a chance on troubled safety Tyrann Mathieu in the 2013 draft? He has kept clean and he's a rising star for the Cardinals. But there are dozens of stories of players with character issues getting to the NFL and being a pain on the professional level as well. It's a tough balancing act. The fact that Green-Beckham will have such a small sample size of games (remember, the first half of his freshman year wasn't worth much) will make it even harder to evaluate him.
Whether Green-Beckham sits out all year or lands at a relatively anonymous school for the 2014 season probably doesn't change this fact: NFL fans will be hearing a ton about him between now and the 2015 draft. And teams are going to have a very tough call on weighing his incredible talent against all the issues that got him in this mess.
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