For the third year in a row, NFL draft guru Nolan Nawrocki released a revealing report on some of the top prospects in the upcoming NFL draft class. Nawrocki's sourced report delves into the character concerns surrounding these players. Some of the biggest names on the list include controversial quarterback Johnny Manziel, top prospect Jadeveon Clowney, and former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla. Here's what Nawrocki had to say about these three:
Suspect intangibles -- not a leader by example or known to inspire by his words. Carries a sense of entitlement and prima-donna arrogance seeking out the bright lights of Hollywood. Is known to party too much and is drawn to all the trappings of the game. ... Has defied the odds and proven to be a great college-system quarterback, but still must prove he is willing to work to be great, adjust his hard-partying, Hollywood lifestyle and be able to inspire his teammates by more than his playmaking ability.
It seems every year there's one QB that draws heavy attention from Nawrocki's report. In 2012, it was Cam Newton. Last year, Geno Smith drew a scathing review. Any concerns about Newton didn't seem to matter considering he was taken with the first overall pick that year, but Smith suffered a big drop despite being once viewed as the top QB in the 2013 draft class. Manziel is seemingly one of the best QB prospects in the 2014 NFL draft class, but could off the field concerns cause him to drop? And if so, would the Eagles have interest? Maybe not, but it's fun to note Kelly has spoken highly of Manziel before.
Lacks discipline on and off the field and has had to be managed closely since he arrived on campus. Needs to learn what it means to be a pro. Plays in spurts and is too much of a flash player -- does not consistently dominate like he could. Is still immature and finding his way -- too much of a follower.
Clowney is viewed by many NFL draft analysts as the top overall prospect in this year's draft class. Something tells me Clowney's talent far outweighs any non-major off the field issues.
Overly emotional and prone to outbursts following a dysfunctional childhood that offered little direction and much confusion related to a divorce. Not a disciplined team player. ... Has overcome a lot of adversity stemming back to his youth and defied the odds to become an impactful performer. Talent grades could garner interest in the second round, but past history could easily knock him down several rounds and off many draft boards.
Concerns surrounding Lylerla are well-documented. The talented but troubled Oregon Duck tight end quit the team in early October of 2013 and was later arrested and pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of cocaine. Some Eagles fans have connected Lyerla to the Eagles as a result of his connection with Eagles coach Chip Kelly, but it remains to be seen if the team would take a chance on him.
Character concerns factor into every team's scouting reports, but especially so in the case of the Eagles. GM Howie Roseman often stresses the importance of adding high character players to the roster. "We put a list of criteria of things that we can't get over. There are deal breakers for us," Roseman explained in an open media session last summer.
It remains to be seen if the information Nawrocki has gathered matches what NFL teams are hearing. Nawrocki's reports are no stranger to having drawn criticism themselves. Believe what you want, but for now, it's something of interest to note.