A day from now, the suspense will be over. The NFL Draft will take place and a few hours after it…
NFL Draft: Prospect and Player News *Updated*
It's no secret outside linebacker Ernie Sims of Florida State had concussion issues in the past. Scout.com recently learned Sims actually suffered six concussions in his playing career, one knocking him unconscious. While Sims seems like a rising prospect, in actuality, he could drop quite a bit on draft day due to medical concerns. After a brilliant start to his senior campaign, Jason Allen suffered a major hip injury last October and despite solid workouts in recent weeks several teams are concerned. Two teams that scout.com talked to this week said they took Allen off of their draft board because of long-term concerns of the injured hip. The thinking is the hip injury suffered last October could be a generative condition. Other franchises are not as concerned and will consider selecting Allen during the first 45-selections. Antonio Cromartie missed the entire 2005 season due to a knee injury and surprised some when he declared for the draft. Luckily for Cromartie the surgically repaired knee is not an issue as he's been passing team physicals throughout the league. Offensive tackle Marcus McNeill has been diagnosed with Stenosis which is defined as the narrowing of the spine. While he can play with the condition, teams are concerned with the long-term effects and many have dismissed the notion of taking him in the first round. Two interesting points must be brought out. McNeill was unable to practice this season and for the most part put on the pads once a week on Saturday. His older brother, DeMarco McNeill was at one time a highly rated defensive tackle entering the 2004 draft but was red-flagged and went undrafted with a degenerative knee condition. While he suffered a major knee injury during the 2004 season, Eric Winston hasn't had any problems passing team physicals. Still, teams feel he was not fully healthy last year at Miami, which resulted in disappointing play. Most teams feel Winston still needs time before breaking into a starting line-up. Charlie Whitehurst had shoulder surgery late in 2005 but has looked good in private workouts for teams and hasn't had any problems passing physicals. California tackle Ryan O'Callahan has been red-flagged by several teams after two shoulder surgeries and back problems. Sources have told us certain franchises will not consider using a first day pick on O'Callahan due to the injury history. While some have Notre Dame tight end Anthony Fasano rising up draft boards his combine medical grade tells a different story altogether. Due to a back injury Fasano was given a grade of 1 (one) by doctors who examined him at the combine, the lowest number possible. He is now considered undraftable by many teams. A second tier running back, Ryan Gilbert told people he was rehabbing his surgically repaired knee the past three months but sources say the big interior ball handler has actually done nothing at all. As a result Gilbert, previously looked upon as late round consideration, is barely roster fodder. Two prospects are falling down draft boards after poor interviews, with some teams removing their names from consideration altogether. Earlier last month we spoke about an insecure attitude by Winston Justice which was being labeled as a "humble personality". We have learned that has changed. Several franchises were completely turned off by what they called "complete immaturity" on behalf of Justice. Source have labeled him as a "blamer" who does not take personal responsibility. Factor in off-the-field issues which includes an arrest for solicitation and at least two teams in the middle of round one have said they will not select Justice even if he is available. Another dropping due to poor one-on-one interviews is defensive back Jimmy Williams. At one time considered a top ten choice, Williams has not come off well and source have told us he has asserted no desire to move back to free safety and will only play cornerback. Character concerns has reared its' ugly head and red-flagged several other defensive players. Considered first round material coming into the season, a number of teams have tabbed Alan Zemaitis as a character concern citing a bad attitude. While opinions on Zemaitis are split, some teams will not consider using a pick on his services until the third round begins. Texas defensive lineman Rodrique Wright has also been dropping down draft boards with character concerns. Part of Wright's problem is the fact he's just not liked by a lot of people.South Carolina safety Ko Simpson is another drifting down charts because of poor character. Sources have said Simpson presents himself as an immature prospect who just doesn't seem to get it. Less than average classroom skills have also been a concern for general managers around the league.
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