Air Force ruling damages wideout’s chances to be drafted

The Air Force Academy’s Jalen Robinette appeared to be a prime candidate to be a selection on the third day of the NFL Draft.

And, then, suddenly, his ability to make the jump from the academy to the pros was put on hold … for at least two years.

Per the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Robinette, according to an Air Force statement,  will be required to serve two years active duty before being eligible to request Ready Reserve status, which would allow him to play in the NFL.

Robinette, who led the nation in yards-per-catch for Air Force Academy in 2016, was expected to be drafted between the second and fifth rounds in the NFL Draft.

“I really don’t know what to tell you honestly,” Robinette told the paper.

Here is the statement from the Air Force:

“The Air Force notified Academy leaders yesterday (Thursday) that the service would not approve requests to waiver active duty military commitments for cadet athletes. Cadets will be required to serve two years active duty prior to entering Ready Reserve, which would allow their participation in professional sports. The Air Force places tremendous value on our cadet athletes and their contributions to the nation as we continue to build leaders of character, engage in combat operations overseas and continue to ensure our highest military readiness at home.”

The newspaper reached one NFL scout, who told it that he did not believe Robinette would be selected on Saturday under these circumstances.