Jameis Winston is not the first incredibly talented NFL prospect who has turned teams off with his off-field behavior. And, as such, he is not the first NFL prospect who has been spied on by teams leading up to the draft.
Earlier this week, Winston’s quarterbacks coach revealed that the former Florida State star was told he was secretly shadowed by an NFL team on one of his combine flights. That story didn’t surprise former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik, who said on Wednesday that he once had a scout camp out at former Oklahoma State star Justin Blackmon’s favorite campus bar.
“We found out there was a bar called the Cricket Inn or the Cricket, which was a popular bar there in Oklahoma State,” Dominik said on Colin Cowherd’s radio show. “He (the scout) sat there for one week, went in at 3 o’clock every day and stayed until 11 o’clock at night. That was his job, and we checked how many times did Justin Blackmon come in? And he came in too many times and we took him off our board.”
Blackmon was arrested for driving while under the influence when he was in college. He was also involved in some other minor incidents at Oklahoma State. Coincidentally, the Jaguars ended up trading their No. 7 overall pick and a fourth-round pick for Tampa Bay’s No. 5 overall pick, which they used to draft Blackmon.
And, what do you know, Blackmon has appeared in just 20 of his 48 possible professional games because of a series of arrests and positive drug tests. He has not appeared in a game since before he was suspended indefinitely in 2013.
Do NFL teams go to extreme lengths when tailing players before the draft? Sure, but they’re investing millions of dollars in hopes that players don’t act like morons when they sign their rookie contracts. Don’t do what this GM once did and you should be just fine.