For NFL prospects hoping to hear their names called on draft day, the worst thing they can do to hurt their draft stock is get into trouble off the field. Over the weekend, former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott got arrested and charged with a DUI, and NFL online sportsbook odds have him dropping to the later rounds of the draft.
Before his arrest, Prescott was an intriguing prospect a lot of NFL teams were looking at because of his leadership skills and character. With the arrest, his character is going to come into question because it will be difficult for teams to know if this was an isolated incident or something that is likely to occur again.
At Mississippi State, Prescott was one of four players in FBS history to throw more than 70 touchdowns and run for 40 more. He finished his career as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks to come out of the SEC. Prescott also performed well at the Senior Bowl, and was projected as a top 100 pick.
Prescott released a statement apologizing for his actions and promised to learn from the ordeal. Prescott also promised to use better judgment in the future.
While the DUI arrest will be a factor when it comes to Prescott’s draft position, it likely won’t affect his stock too much because it was his first offense of this kind, and he has built up some goodwill with some of the NFL teams during the draft combine.
Prescott is also well liked and respected by his teammates and coaches, so his arrest will likely be seen as a fluke incident that won’t happen again.
Even though most experts believe Prescott’s arrest won’t have too negative an impact on his draft stock, you have to remember that not all teams will be willing to sweep it under the rug.
As a quarterback, Prescott will be relied on to lead his team to victory, and some teams may feel his arrest shows terrible decision making. Some teams like the Cleveland Browns might not want to deal with off the field distractions after their experience with Johnny Manziel, and not draft him, even though they need a quarterback.
As expected, Prescott’s former teammates and coaches have rallied to his defense, and the consensus if that he made a mistake, but it doesn’t define who he is.
Prescott is a very talented player and was impressive during the combine and at the Mississippi State pro day. He will be hoping that the teams he impressed during those workouts will be able to overlook his arrest.
With the NFL Draft coming up in April, Prescott will be asked about the arrest by every team official he speaks to, and would have to be completely honest with the team officials to assure them it won’t happen if he is drafted.
With the NFL under attack due to the behavior of some of the players in the league, teams are wary about drafting players with character issues. Since this is Prescott’s first offense, it is unlikely that a lot of teams will hold it against him. However, since the NFL is a business, the arrest will cost Prescott financially, especially if he drops in the draft.